Scottish hospices ‘pivotal’ to enabling Scottish Government to achieve its ambitions for end of life care

Feb 14, 2018

Scottish hospices are “pivotal” to enabling the Scottish Government to double provision of community-based palliative care by 2021 – especially in supporting Health & Social Care Partnerships and helping expand home-based care -  according to a new report.

The Hospice Care in Scotland report 2017, published today by Hospice UK, states that hospices can help improve capacity in generalist health settings, by sharing their expertise in end of life care with other care providers.

The report highlights the substantial contribution made by Scottish hospices, especially in providing community-based support.

Hospices in Scotland supported 19,000 people of all ages, ranging from new-born babies to centenarians in 2016-17. During that year a total of 12,000 people received hospice care in their homes.

Home-based hospice care offers many positive benefits for terminally ill people, enabling them to remain with their families in a familiar environment and also helping reduce the need for disruptive and stressful hospital admissions at the end of life.

The report emphases that hospices can play a key role supporting Health and Social Care Partnerships – especially in planning for palliative care services. Also by helping develop the palliative training and professional development needs of the wider health and care network.

Most hospices in Scotland provide telephone advice for people at the end of life and also to GPs and health professionals working in hospitals and care homes according to the report.

In addition, the vast majority of hospices (86 per cent) provide education and training to external health and social care professionals. 

Eilidh Macdonald, Policy and Advocacy Manager Scotland at Hospice UK, said:  

“Hospices offer a wide range of community-based services to support terminally ill people and their families, in line with their needs and preferences, whether day hospice services or providing care at home.

“Hospices are pivotal to getting more high quality care to more Scots and in the place they prefer. If the Scottish Government is to achieve its ambitions on end of life care by 2021 it will need to work with hospice services and also invest in expanding hospice-led community care.”

Notes to editors

  • A copy of the Hospice care in Scotland 2016-17 report is available here
  • Hospice UK has 16 members in Scotland that provide hospice care services
  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and palliative care. For further information about hospice care visit our website
  • or follow us on Twitter @hospiceuk
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at:

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