In recent times there has been an increase in community conversations around death and dying. These conversations include topics such as how and where we die, the concept of a good death and the need to plan to die well. In Australia, 60 - 70% of people want to die at home but only 14% do. Fifty four percent of people die in hospitals and 32% in residential aged care facilities.
End of life care can involve multiple services across different settings. The care can be poorly integrated, disconnected, and involve duplications, gaps and delays. This can result in confusion, distress and frustration for patients and their families.
This project is identifying the care services provided to people during their last six months of life, and evaluating the degree of integration of the services.
A project advisory group has been established with a range of MARC partners with expertise in end of life and palliative care to oversee the project.
As of October 2018, MARC has finished the End of Life Care Project.
- Preferred place of death unknown in 71% of audit cases
- 53% of audit cases transferred to another place (e.g. unit, facility) in the last week of life
- In 60% of audit cases, regonition of dying occurred on day of death or one day prior
- For the 60% of cases receiving specialist palliative care, mean time for initial contact was 26 days prior to death
- Most people don't prepare for death, crisis is often the point of intervention