Making end-of-life care central to hospital care: quality standards for end-of-life care in hospitals
Each year almost 30,000 people die in Ireland. While surveys suggest that the great majority of people would like to die at home the reality is that the great majority currently die outside the home. Three-quarters (75%) of all deaths now take place in hospitals and long-stay facilities and almost half (48%) of deaths occur in acute hospitals. End-of-life care in our hospitals is therefore everybody’s business. The Standards have been developed as part of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) Programme, a five-year national programme initiated by the Irish Hospice Foundation in May 2007 in partnership with the HSE and supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Dormant Accounts Fund and the Health Services National Partnership Forum. Because there is evidence to show that applying palliative care/hospice principles at end of life results in better outcomes for patients, families and staff, the mission of the HFH Programme is to put hospice principles into hospital practice.