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Thousands of NHS patients being prematurely told they will DIE due to 'surprise ...

NHSGETTYA study claimed that half of those told they will die in a specific time lived longer

An exhaustive analysis by University College London found that half of those forecast to die in a specific time period actually lived longer than expected.

The ‘surprise question’ which asks – "would you be surprised if this patient were to die in the next 12 months?" has been recommended as a feasible way of identifying and planning the care of patients in the last year of life.

Experts found that this leads to over-predicting the chances of it happening more often than not — putting patients under unnecessary stress and worry.

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Dr Bill Noble, medical director at Marie Curie, which funded the research, said: “The rigid application of survival estimates is not an accurate clinical tool and unfortunately it worries more people than it needs to.

For some families, even the idea that a relative is facing their last piece of life is anathema; it’s something they cannot handle.”

The unreliability of the so-called “surprise question” method also means patients are being moved on to end-of-life care earlier than

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