UK end of life care lags behind Australia
I work as a nurse in Australia. When my mother was terminally ill in the UK, it astounded me that the NHS did not have walk-about phones on the wards to enable me to talk to her. The staff on the wards were tardy with titrating her pain relief over the Easter holidays and this caused much trauma to my family - and to me, as I know it didn't need to be like that.
The offer of a transfer to a more appropriate hospice was made but no transport could take her in a timely fashion. There were only eight beds in the whole county! Please lobby to fund more beds and give acute sector nurses better training in helping people die with painless dignity. The palliative nurses were wonderful but there were too few to effect a better end for my mother.
In an ideal world, mum would have had the opportunity to die at home with proper pain relief and full nursing care, and the process should have been sensitively explained to my mother and step-father to enable them to feel supported. They were scared at the thought of being alone at home which could result in an emergency transfer to an acute medical system that doesn't want you to die as they (the hospital of excellence) pride themselves on limiting the death statistics!
We need to do dying better, and if anything positive has come out of the horror experienced it is that my siblings and I are going to have clear end of life treatment plans in place to ensure we have a kinder end than that of our mother.