Today Marie Curie publishes new data showing that there were more than 1.6 million emergency admissions for people in their last year of life in Britain in 2016, costing the NHS £2.5 billion and amounting to around11 million days in hospital.
The charity warns that the significant rise in the number of deaths over the next 20 years means the cost of emergency admissions for people in the last year of life could almost double and cost the NHS an extra £2billion and that up to 8,000 extra hospital beds could be needed by 2038.
Commenting in response, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Advocacy and Change at national hospice care charity Hospice UK, said:
“Marie Curie’s new data is a stark reminder of the need to reassess provision of care for people at the end of life and invest more in community services. Current provision is skewed towards hospitals which is creating unnecessary pressures on already over-stretched services and means that people are not always getting the right end of life care in the right place for them..
“This issue urgently needs to be tackled now otherwise things will only get worse over time given the increasing care needs of our ageing population.
“Hospices play a vital role in preventing emergency hospital admissions for people approaching the end of life and many are working in partnerships with their local hospital. This includes providing home-based care, as well as advice and support through dedicated helplines, to ensure more people are supported where their needs are best met, which is not always in a hospital. Hospice UK is leading a project to look at how hospices’ work in this area could be expanded further to improve the care that people receive out of hospital at the end of life and help reduce pressures on hospital beds”.
Notes to editors
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and palliative care.
- For further information about hospice care visit our website www.hospiceuk.org or 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
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