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The detrimental effect of lack of nurses on end-of-life care
  1. Helen Scott, Editor
  1. Helen Scott is Editor, End of Life Care, Bank Staff Nurse, St Christopher’s Hospice, and currently undertaking an MSc in Palliative Care, King’s College London

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End-of-life care (EoLC) is currently high on the political agenda. The government has stated that ‘better care for the dying should become a touchstone for success in the modern NHS’ (Department of Health (DH), 2008). The End of Life Care Strategy, launched in 2008, is a government-funded initiative setting out comprehensive guidance enabling the provision of dignified and respectful EoLC. Dying people require personal and humane nursing care, which takes time and resources, as exemplified by the Strategy. Holistic care of the dying requires nurses, employers and government to value essential nursing skills. However, the recent publication of the final report into the care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust highlights a worrying trend that, in the face of financial crisis, when cuts are made, nursing is at risk.

At the end of 2006/07, Mid Staffordshire Trust Board decided to save £10 …

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