The National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL) has published its latest report into death in mental health settings. Based on data collected between June and October 2021, it sets out the findings of the Mental Health Spotlight Audit and compares the results with the acute and community findings, where appropriate.
The report found that a relatively low volume of deaths happen in mental health settings. Other key findings include:
- For communication and individualized care planning, the mean summary scores for mental health providers were higher than for acute and community trusts
- Involvement in decisions relating to end-of-life care was reported to be in line with acute and community trusts.
- There are three key audit themes where the summary scores for mental health providers are lower than those reported for acute and community hospitals: governance, workforce/specialist palliative care, and staff reported feedback.
The report goes on to make a number of recommendations, including a call to Integrated Care Systems/Health Boards to review local arrangements for integrated care for mental health patients with complex physical co-morbidities, to ensure access to the right care in the right environment at the right time when they reach the end of their lives.