National Audit of Care at the End of Life: Third round of the audit (2021/22) report

Reports | Published: 14 Jul 2022

The National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL) has published its latest report on the third round of audit results which took place in 2021. Based on data collected between June and October 2021, the report compares results to round two which took place in 2019.

The report found that the possibility of imminent death (that the patient may die within the next few hours/days) was recognised in 87% of cases audited, compared to 88% in 2019. The median time from recognition of dying to death was recorded as 44 hours (41 hours in 2019). Other key findings include:

  • Results on all key metrics regarding the recording of conversations with the dying person remain similar to 2019, pre-pandemic levels
  • However, from the Quality Survey, the proportion strongly disagreeing or disagreeing with the statement ‘staff communicated sensitively with the dying person’ increased from 7% (2019) to 11% (2021)
  • There was an improvement in access to specialist palliative care – in particular, face-to-face access 8 hours a day, 7 days a week was available in 60% of hospitals/sites, compared to 36% in 2019.

The report also found that the Case Note Review showed similar results to 2019 regarding the existence of an individualised plan of care, namely 73% of cases compared to 71% in 2019, suggesting this is an ongoing area for improvement. It goes on to make a number of recommendations, including calling for executive boards to ensure that people who are recognised to be dying have a clearly documented and accessible individual plan of care developed that is discussed with the dying person and those important to them, to ensure the person’s needs and wishes are known and taken into account.

Read the full report: You can read the report by clicking on the link below.

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National Audit of Care at the End of Life: Third round of the audit (2021/22) report