‘Deaths at home during the Covid-19 pandemic and implications for patients and services’ – a report by the Nuffield Trust
60% of people who died at home either before or during the pandemic did not have their palliative care needs properly recorded during their last year of life.
The Nuffield Trust have published a new report exploring deaths at home in England, before and during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic and the care those people received. The research used data covering a population of 24 million people linking GP clinical records, hospital data and death registrations, as well as a patient and public involvement group.
The report finds evidence of unmet need in people approaching end of life, with 60% of people who died at home either before or during the pandemic did not have their palliative care needs properly recorded during their last year of life.
Key findings from the report include:
- The pandemic exacerbated socioeconomic inequalities in service use, with people from the most deprived areas using less of almost all services than people from the least deprived areas
- People from Asian ethnic backgrounds were more likely to have emergency bed days and general practice interactions before the pandemic
- People who died at home were less likely to have planned hospital admissions during the pandemic
- There was an increase in the use of Accident & Emergency (A&E) during the pandemic for people who died at home, particularly for people who died from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Use of general practice increased during the pandemic among people who died at home
- People who died at home during the pandemic were more likely to be prescribed at least one medication for symptom management than people who died at home before the pandemic
With an increasing number of deaths at home through choice, as opposed to dying in a hospital or hospice, research like this becomes vital to assessing quality of care to make sure that patient needs are being met.
To read the full report, please visit the Nuffield Trust website.
The Nuffield Trust has also recently released a report about living and dying as an older person in prison.