1,600 people die every day in the UK. That means that 3 million people will die in the UK over the course of the next Parliament (Parliaments are now a fixed five year term).
There’s fantastic care in many places. My mum, for example, died last year in the Alexandria Unit of Dumfries Royal Infirmary, which is like a hospice in an NHS hopsital. It was exemplary – and free – care of both my mother and us, her family, for which I am eternally grateful.
There’s also room for vast improvement in many places – especially in the current climate. Hospice UK research shows that almost half of all hospices – in England – have had their NHS funding cut or frozen in the last year. This is at the same time as facing an increasing demand for their services and added bureaucracy. I salute all the people who are coping – somehow – with this situation.
And that’s just hospices. The majority of people don’t want to – but still do – die in hospital and we’ve all heard about the care crisis and what’s being going on in hospitals over this last winter. I salute all the people who are coping with that situation too! Ay ay ay.
If you’re involved in the UK General Election (and local elections – local authorities are responsible for much of end-of-life care services), especially if you are having contact with candidates, please raise this issue with them. As usual, it’s not an area most people care to talk about.
If you need some information and ammo, Hospice UK have joined forces with a coalition of other end of life charities and produces a manifesto briefing and other campaign resources. To access click here: http://www.hospiceuk.org/policy-campaigns/campaigns/general-election-2015
Thank you! May all those 3 million have a ‘good’ death – whatever that means to each and every one of them.