Nursing Standard has joined forces with UK charity Marie Curie for a major survey to find out the experiences of nurses and healthcare assistants in caring for people in the last months, weeks and days of life
The survey, now in its second year, aims to find out the experiences of nurses and healthcare assistants (HCAs) in caring for people in the last months, weeks and days of life.
The 2017 survey of nearly 1,000 nurses and HCAs revealed more than four out of ten had received no training in end of life care. Many suggested that their training in end of life care was brief and infrequent.
‘Barometer of quality of care in the health sector’
Nurses and HCAs in many settings, including hospitals and care homes, told Nursing Standard that they felt underprepared for the sensitive nature of the end of life care they were expected to carry out.
Nursing Standard editor Graham Scott urged readers to take part in this year's survey, which launches today.
He said: ‘The way we care for patients at the end of life is a barometer of the quality of care in the health sector as a whole.
‘Nurses told us in 2017 that they were under immense strain and the service is reaching breaking point.
‘Crucial to take part’
‘It’s crucial as many nurses and HCAs as possible take part in this year's survey – help us shine a light on if things have got better, or worse – so we can keep the vital issue on the agenda.’
Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity providing care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices.
Marie Curie director of nursing Dee Sissons said: ‘Last year’s survey provided us with crucial insights into the experiences of nurses who shoulder the huge responsibility of caring for people who are in the final weeks and days of their lives.