Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

DH reproached over surveying bereaved


The Department of Health risks sidelining dying people by opting to survey bereaved relatives about care, instead of the patients themselves, a nursing academic has said.

The NHS Outcomes Framework, published last month, sets out indicators that the DH will use to judge service performance.

The DH said “improving the experience of care for people at the end of their lives” would be assessed.

However, the framework suggests it is not possible to do this by asking dying patients themselves for their views on their care.

Instead it says: “A new survey of bereaved carers will be used to understand the experience of the person at the end of their life, and of their wider family.”

The survey is due to be introduced in April next year.

But Sally Brearley, visiting fellow at the national nursing research unit at King’s College London, said methods of measuring dying patients’ experience of their care were emerging.

She told Nursing Times that these should be developed instead of relying on relatives or carers’ views.

Ms Brearley said: “Dying in hospital is disenfranchising enough already. Nurses working in end of life care know there are already some very good measures [for directly measuring the experience of end of life care patients].”

The framework also adopts indicators that are directly influenced by the quality of nursing.


Readers' comments (2)

  • I can understand why a survey would be developed for the bereaved relatives on one hand and as long as it is a point of view that is fine, very often the relatives do not know what is needed but only ever see what happens through their eyes whilst they are visiting. A survey of the dying person if they are fully able to cooperate if they so wish is much better as they can better gage the actual care received. I personally am all for improving care for the dying as I feel that more care and time is needed to care for this patient group and subsequently more nursing education is also required if the end of life strategy is going to be affective in all areas

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The extensive works of Elizabeth Kubler Ross are an invaluable resource which can be located on Google.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.