Facts and figures

About hospice care

  • The hospice care sector supports approximately 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions in the UK each year. This amounts to more than four in ten people of those estimated to need expert end of life care.
  • Hospices also have an important role in supporting people’s families, especially in providing bereavement support. More than 40,000 people in the UK receive bereavement support from them each year.  
  • Hospices support people with a wide range of conditions including cancer, motor neurone disease, cardio-vascular diseases, dementia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Hospices are increasingly supporting people with multiple life-limiting conditions.
  • The majority of hospice care (80 per cent) is provided in community-based settings, including home care/ hospice at home, outpatient services and hospice day care.
  • More than 125,000 people give their time to volunteer for hospices each year

For further information about hospice care, services and activities see our recent policy publications.

Funding for hospices

  • On average adult hospices in the UK receive a third of their income from the Government, with the rest coming from community fundraising, hospice charity shops, hospice lotteries and investments. However, the level of statutory funding varies widely across the country, between the different nations and also within different regions.
  • In Scotland hospices receive on average 40 per cent of their income from the Government, in England it is 33 per cent, in Northern Ireland it is 31 per cent and in Wales it is 24 per cent.  
  • On average children's hospices in the UK receive 17 per cent of their funding from the Government, less than a fifth of their expenditure.
  • Collectively, charitable hospices in the UK need to raise around £1billion a year from their local communities - which amounts to £2.7 million per day.
  • Hospices in the UK spent a total of £1.3 billion on their services in 2014/15 - of which £868 million was spent directly on care, with the remainder on costs including fundraising, compliance and governance.
  • For further financial information and trends from independent hospices, access our financial benchmarking page.

Future demand for hospice care

  • Britain’s older population is set to sharply increase in the next few decades.
  • The number of people aged 85 and over is expected to double in the next 20 years
  • The number of people aged 100 or over is expected to increase more than eight-fold by 2035 – to more than 100,000.
  • The number of young adults living with life-limiting conditions is also on the increase and there is evidence of growing numbers of young people with highly complex needs moving from children’s services into adult care.

Contact us if you would like more information on any of the statistics on this page.

Infographics

This series of infographics centres on the theme of how hospices can help the NHS improve choice and reduce costs for end of life care.

These infographics have been designed to be a simple yet powerful way of sharing some really important information which could, for example, be used to support hospices' discussions with local NHS colleagues.

Do let us know if you have any feedback on the infographics, and of any ways in which you use them.

What does hospice care mean to you?