Insufficient pain relief at end of life
An analysis of views given by more than 21,000 people on the quality of care provided to their friends or relatives reveals that thousands of cancer patients in England are spending their final hours in pain.
The charity Macmillan Cancer Support (MCS) examined Office for National Statistics (ONS) cancer mortality figures for 2014 and cross-referenced them with findings from the ONS National Survey of Bereaved People (VOICES).
It found that 9% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that the cancer patient had sufficient pain relief in the last 48 hours of life.
Through applying the 9% figure to 137,500 cancer deaths in 2014, Macmillan estimates that 12,500 people each year spend their last days in pain.Reasons
MCS end of life care programme lead Adrienne Betteley says end of life pain relief may be inadequate for several reasons, including anticipatory prescribing not happening when it should,...