We represent the community of more than 200 hospices across the UK. They do everything they can for children and adults living with long-term illnesses or approaching the end of their lives.

On this page, we're sharing key information to illustrate how hospices work to ease the physical and emotional pain of death and dying.

How many people need palliative care?


The death rate in the UK is expected to increase in the next 20 years. By 2040, around 130,000 more people in the UK will die each year than in 2023 [1]. 

As many as 90% of people who die in the UK would benefit from palliative care [2]. 


Who do hospices care for?


In 2022-23, hospices across the UK provided palliative and end of life care to 300,000 people [3]. 

Hospices provided direct support services to 60,000 family members, friends and carers [3]. 

They also give informal support to countless more people like Hazel, whose husband Alan was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2017.

Age and diagnosis

The graph below goes into more detail about the age of people hospices care for, and the type of condition they have [3].

To filter the graph, click on the "Adults", "Children" or "ALL" buttons in the top right corner.

Select a topic by using the buttons at the bottom. To do this, you need to hover your mouse towards the bottom of the graph, select the three dots that appear on the right and then click on "Hide Controls".

You can view the graph in full screen if you select the option in the bottom right hand corner of the slide.


What services do hospices provide?


Hospices provide a wide range of services, which are delivered through: 

  • the community (including activities in community hubs such as a village hall or library and outreach work) 
  • patients’ homes (a member of hospice staff visiting patients at home) 
  • outpatient support (where the patient lives at home but travels to the hospice for care) 
  • inpatient care (where the patient stays in a bed in the hospice for a period of time) 
  • online services. 

In 2022-23, 18% of hospices’ total service activity was delivered in an inpatient unit and 55% of hospices’ total activity was delivered at the person’s place of residence [3].

Who works in hospices?


In 2022-23, 16,000 clinical and care staff were employed by hospices in the UK [4]. 

Of these: 

  • 12,200 were nurses and healthcare assistants. 
  • 950 were doctors (some other doctors were employed by NHS hospitals/Health and Social Care Boards to work across a hospital and a hospice). 
  • 2,850 were other health and care professionals. 

How are hospices funded?


It costs £1.6 billion each year to run the hospices in the UK [7].

Hospices raise over £1.1 billion of this through fundraising, and less than £0.5 billion comes from government funding [7]. 




The information on this page is drawn from surveys of our members and nationally available data. It was published on 29 May 2024 and will be updated annually to reflect the latest figures from the hospice sector.

If you would like more detailed figures or have any questions please contact us. 

  1. Based on data from: Office for National Statistics (ONS). National population projections: 2020-based interim [Internet]. 2022 Jan 12 [cited 2024 Apr 16], and Office for National Statistics (ONS). Vital statistics in the UK: births, deaths and marriages [Internet] 2023 Feb 24 [cited 2024 Apr 16]. 

  1. Marie Curie. How many people need palliative care? Updated estimates of palliative care need across the UK, 2017-2021. Data and evidence briefing. [Internet]. Marie Curie; 2023 [cited 2024 Apr 16]. 

  1. Data taken from Hospice UK’s Hospice Activity and Demographic survey, 2022-23. 80% of 204 Hospice UK members providing direct hospice services responded to the survey. The data provided has been used to calculate figures for UK hospices as a whole.  

  1. Data taken from Hospice UK’s Clinical Workforce Survey, 2022-23. 73% of 204 Hospice UK members providing direct hospice services responded to the survey. The data provided has been used to calculate figures for UK hospices as a whole 

  1. We have calculated this figure using publicly available information from the Charity Commission in England, Northern Ireland and Wales; Companies House in Scotland; and hospice annual reports. 

  1. We have estimated this figure using the number of hospices in the UK and the average number of trustees per hospice. 

  1. Hospice UK. Hospice accounts: analysis of the accounts of UK charitable hospices for the year ended 31 March 2022. [Internet]. Hospice UK; 2023 [cited 2024 Apr 23].