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Nurse shortages leave people dying in pain, charity warns

People are dying at home without the correct nursing support or pain relief because of staff shortages, according to the end-of-life charity Marie Curie.

One in three nurses, responding to a survey by the charity and Nursing Standard, say a lack of staff is the main challenge providing quality care to dying people.

More than half of the nurses said they feel the standard of care has deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 548 nursing staff across acute and community settings in the UK completed the survey in September.

They raise concerns about the increased number of people dying at home and insufficient numbers of community nurses to support these people and their families.

One nurse who responded to the survey said: "If more [people] are dying at home then there is a huge pressure on local district nursing teams which struggle with staffing as it is."

Julie Pearce, chief nurse and executive director of quality and caring services at Marie Curie, said: "The pandemic has accelerated change across many care settings.

"More people are dying at home and staffing to support this shift isn't there.

"The data shows a hidden crisis happening behind closed doors and people dying without access to pain relief or the dignity they deserve."

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Source: The Independent, 27 October 2021


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