National Bowel Cancer Audit Short Report – End of Life

Reports | Published: 11 Jul 2019

This short report aims to look at patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer who were at ‘End of Life’ (defined as identified as being likely to
die within 12 months).

Concerns have been raised about the variation in the quality of end of life care received by patients. Within England, a national framework ‘Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care’ was initiated in 2015 and presents six ambitions for improved care including individual care, equal access to services and coordinated care. In Wales, there is the ‘Palliative and End of Life Care Delivery Plan 2017’.

The report found that as expected, patients who did not live for more than a year from diagnosis tended to be older, have metastases, have poorer performance status, and to undergo no surgical procedure. However, the report also showed that these patients had, on average, two hospital admissions with a length of stay of 18 days each and that a third spent over a month of their last year in hospital.

The importance of being able to identify these patients as early as possible in order to involve palliative care services in a timely manner and prevent futile investigations, procedures and hospital admissions is emphasised. This report provides the basis for further analyses and research directed at end of life care in colorectal cancer patients.

Click below to download the report.

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National Bowel Cancer Audit Short Report – End of Life