Macmillan Cancer Support are looking to raise awareness and support for their campaign for 24/7 community nursing care to allow terminal cancer patients the choice to die at home.
Following an online survey in February 2010, Macmillan found that 73% of people with cancer would, given the choice, prefer to die at home. Unfortunately, according to the Office for National Statistics, only 27% of cancer patients in 2009 were able to do this.
44% of Primary Care Trusts do not offer round the clock care to all their patients and due to this, many terminal cancer patients are unable to receive the care that they need in their own homes.
Providing 24/7 community nursing would not only make a huge difference to patients and their loved ones, it would also save the NHS money. According to the National Audit Office, in 2008 the average cost of providing care at home was just £28. To care for the same person in hospital for the last year of their life cost £222 per day – almost 8 times as much!
It is not only a comfort for many patients to know that they can spend their last moments in their home, it is also important for family members. 24/7 community nursing allows loved ones to know that the physical needs of their patient are being looked after, leaving them to concentrate on providing much needed emotional support. Having 24/7 care also gives family members the chance to rest, safe in the knowledge that their loved one is not alone through the night and with the reassurance that when the time comes, they will be there.
If you would like to support the campaign you can sign a pledge at http://www.macmillan.org.uk/GetInvolved/Campaigns/247communitynursing/247nursing.aspx