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.