Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: End of life care in hospital is everyone’s business

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 14 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3888
  1. David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine
  1. Berkshire
  1. davidoliver372{at}

Palliative care: do we need more specialist clinicians, or more generalist staff better trained in it? My answer is both.

About 500 000 people die each year in England and Wales.1 Yet the United Kingdom has only an estimated 519 specialist palliative medicine consultants and fewer than 5000 crucial specialist palliative care nurses.2 1

A national audit of end of life care in hospital by the Royal College of Physicians found a median of one palliative medicine consultant and five nurse specialists for every 1000 adult hospital beds.3

Some of us will die …

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