Dr. Matthew Knight

Care at home at the end of life has a positive impact

Recent research released by the Nuffield Trust examining the impact of the Marie Curie home nursing service on hospital use and place of death has thrown further light onto the benefits of care at home. In a study of nearly 60,000 patients it found that the Marie Curie nursing service reduced the number of hospital admission to a quarter of the level seen in the control group and more than halved the number of patients who dies in hospital. Interestingly the Marie Curies service reduced the cost of care by more the £1000 as well (1)

Towards the end of life emergency admission to an acute hospital is common and often undesirable. Palliative care at the end of life aims to maximise quality of life and can be provided in a number of environments, of which a patients own home is one. The Marie-Curie home care service provides support to patients and their families at home or in a hospice setting. This study demonstrates improved care and reduced emergency hospitalisation by use of a dedicated and expert home nursing team from the Marie Curie Cancer Care team.

(1) The impact of the Marie Curie Nursing Service on place of death and hospital use at the end of life: Nov 2012 (Nuffield Trust, 2012), available online.

Dr. Knight trained as a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Hampstead and University College London (UCL). He then undertook his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine, based in north west London, and is currently working full time as a Registrar in Respiratory Medicine, at the Royal Brompton Hospital. His main interests are Asthma and allergy and he is currently studying part time for a Masters degree in Allergy, at Imperial College London.

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