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Charity calls for Executive to improve palliative care

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 23/06/2015

All healthcare workers involved in end of life care should receive mandatory training in palliative care, a leading charity has said.

Marie Curie has called on the Executive to improve the skills of medical professionals and develop a stronger palliative care strategy. In Northern Ireland, 75% of the 15,000 people who die each year need palliative care and over the next 22 years the number of people dying is set to increase by 28%.

In a new report launched yesterday, the charity highlights the limited understanding of what palliative care can do, who it benefits and when to introduce it.

The report, Triggers for Palliative Care, indicate that professionals do not have enough awareness and often miss the opportunity to consider whether that form of care is needed.

It is estimated that there are 3,000 people in the region who could benefit from palliative care every year but are not currently receiving it.

People with conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia, end stage liver disease, and motor neurone disease are currently less likely to receive palliative care than those with terminal cancer because their illnesses can be more unpredictable.

The report says the goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

 

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