Today, Marie Curie launches a new report which highlights that people living with blood or brain cancer are more likely to have unmet care needs at the end of life.
The charity is calling for NHS England to ensure that the palliative care needs of all people with cancer are assessed when they are first diagnosed.
Its report 'The Hidden Challenges of Palliative Cancer Care', which is backed by Bloodwise and The Brain Tumour Charity also identifies a lack of understanding around palliative care. This means it is only considered when other options have failed or when someone is considered to be approaching the end of life.
Commenting on the report, Dr Ros Taylor MBE, Clinical Director at Hospice UK, said:
“Everyone with cancer can benefit from receiving hospice and palliative care earlier on and this is happening with many types of cancer, but not all. In my experience as a palliative doctor, people with brain tumours and cancers such as leukaemia, often miss out on palliative care.
“We echo the themes of this report, calling for much earlier referral and explanation of how palliative care can help. A holistic, palliative approach to cancer, often alongside oncology treatment, helps people to focus on what matters to them in times of uncertainty.
"Referral to hospice and palliative care should be based on need rather than diagnosis to ensure better equity of access.”
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 about hospice care 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.