“My dad shouldn’t have died at work”

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By Creative Media News

A woman who had difficulty obtaining nighttime care for her ailing father told that he “should not have been expected to pass away during office hours.”

Tracey Bennett stated that she was “totally bewildered” when her father required assistance.

Michael, who was in the latter stages of cancer, had fallen late at night, prompting her to call the local NHS palliative care helpline, which was closed.

According to studies, about 70% of the United Kingdom lacks a regular 24-hour helpline for the terminally sick.

And 27% of these areas lack a dedicated phone connection, according to a study funded by Marie Curie.

"my dad shouldn't have died at work"
"my dad shouldn't have died at work"

The charity’s Ruth Driscoll stated that the report revealed “a grim picture of out-of-hours care in many locations of the United Kingdom.”

I feel I let my dad down

Mrs. Bennett, 54, from Doncaster moved in with her 76-year-old father, Michael Woodward, to care for him through the final stages of his disease at the beginning of 2021.

One evening, he fell. Mrs. Bennett was able to help him up, however, the local NHS palliative care phone line was closed when she called for assistance.

Although she believed her father should not be hospitalized, she dialed 999 since she had nowhere else to turn. He passed away in the wee hours of the following morning.

“I feel like I failed my father in his time of need,” she added. He should not have been expected to pass away during business hours.

Mrs. Bennett added: “A few days before his death, my father was ambulatory and even able to walk to the pharmacy.

“If I had realized how abruptly he would decline, I could have prepared assistance in advance. However, we were taken off guard and unsure of what to do.”

Researchers from King’s College London, the University of Hull, and the University of Cambridge discovered that “out-of-hours palliative care is inadequate and fragmented at present.

Marie Curie desires every region of the United Kingdom has a dedicated palliative phone line staffed 24 hours a day by a professionally qualified nurse or physician.

Rosie Carter, a 67-year-old retired nurse from Liverpool, stated that access to a 24-hour helpline has improved her quality of life, even as she gets end-of-life care for metastatic breast cancer.

Previously, she had to repeatedly visit A&E when her pain intensified throughout the summer.

She said: “The third time I went to A&E, I was unable to even take a taxi because I was unable to walk that far. I was transported by ambulance.” She was released from the hospital, but her symptoms persisted.

Miss Carter eventually phoned the Liverpool palliative care “one-stop shop” Impact service.

The integrated service is comprised of NHS physicians, specialist nurses, and therapists, and patients can self-refer via a 24-hour phone line.

It was established in 2021 by Marie Curie, the Woodlands Hospice, and the NHS, and they consider it to be an example of best practice.

The hub has helped end-of-life patients in Liverpool reduce emergency hospital visits by 44%, relieving pressure on A&E.

Miss Carter expressed regret that she had not dialed the number sooner. They sent an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist to her residence and arranged for heavier pain medication. She is currently residing in comfort at home.

She stated, “It has meant the world to me.” “That is, my cancer is incurable… The only thing that matters to me is the quality of the remaining life I have, not the quantity.

Prof. Katherine Sleeman of King’s College, the study’s principal investigator, stated, “Because we know that demand for palliative and end-of-life care will increase over the next decade, the gaps in out-of-hours services must be addressed.”

The Health and Social Care Department stated: “As part of the Health and Care Act 2022, palliative care services were added to the list of mandatory local services to ensure a more uniform national approach.

“NHS England has produced statutory guidance to support the commissioning of these critical services, citing the need to provide evening and weekend care.”

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