Today (Wednesday 20 May) the Cicely Saunders Institute (CSI) at King’s College London publishes new research showing that the proportion of people dying in hospices in England has nearly doubled over the last 20 years.
It also highlights that the majority of people who died in a hospice had cancer and a growing gap in hospice deaths between people living in the least and most deprived areas.
The research is the first study to use whole population data to examine how hospice deaths have changed over time and the factors related to hospice deaths.
Commenting on the CSI research, Dr Ros Taylor MBE, National Director for Hospice Care at Hospice UK, said:
“As this study shows, the number of people dying in hospice beds in England has risen substantially over the last two decades.
“The socio-economic divide in hospice inpatient units highlighted in this study is concerning, however in-patient hospice beds are just a small part of the spectrum of hospice care. Much hospice care is now delivered beyond the walls of a hospice building, supporting people at home, which we know is a preferred option for many. There are some great examples around the country of hospices using new models to address inequity and to reach those who have missed out on hospice support in the past.
“We don’t know enough about who uses hospice care beyond hospice beds and certainly need more data analysis on this. We suspect that the pattern of care in the community maybe different from those in hospice beds, reaching many more patients with illnesses other than cancer.
“Hospice UK is currently developing a new toolkit to help hospices better map the palliative care and end of life needs of people in their local communities to ensure improved access to hospice care for everyone who could benefit.”
Notes to Editor
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
- Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
- For further information follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
- Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: www.ehospice.com/uk This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews