New report highlights that with a death every minute in England, we still are not dying where we want

19 August 2010
Report gives national and regional information on where and how we die

The first comprehensive overview of end of life across England clearly shows we are still a long way from dying where we want. Although 70%* of people would prefer to die at home, 58% of us die in hospital. 

Wealth makes a difference to dying at home – while 62% of the poorest people die in hospital only 55% of the wealthiest do according to a new report by the National End of Life Intelligence Network.

Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition, said:

“This report gives a picture of where and how we die and regional variations. We all deserve to die well. While wealth, age and gender make a difference, dying well is more likely to be achieved by talking about it early on. The 10,000 members of the Dying Matters coalition are encouraging everyone to talk about their wishes, write down their plans and make living well and dying well a normal part of life for everyone. This will also raise the profile of end of life care and highlight the gaps in services. ”

London has the highest proportion of deaths in hospital (65.7%) and the South West the lowest (53.7%). London also has the lowest proportion of people dying at home (17.6%) and the North East the highest, at 20.5%.

The difference is even starker at a local authority level: 78.1% of deaths in the London borough of Waltham Forest occur in hospital compared to 44.6% in Torbay. South Cambridgeshire has the highest proportion of deaths at home (27%) – nearly double that of Hertsmere and the London borough of Kingston upon Thames, both of which recorded 13.7%.

Claire Henry, Director of the National End of Life Care Programme, said:

“The research will be used to inform how end of life care services are planned and delivered across the region. Crucially, it underlines the need for people to start talking. It’s vital that you discuss your wishes and needs at the end of life with those around you.”

For support, information and resources on death, dying and bereavement issues, visit www.dyingmatters.org.uk.

 --ENDS--

 Notes to Editors

  1. The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care and currently has over 10,000 members from a wide range of sectors, including the NHS, voluntary and independent health and care sectors, hospices, care homes, charities supporting old people, children and bereavement, the social care and housing sectors, from a wide range of faith organisations, community organisations, schools and colleges, academic bodies, trade unions, the legal profession and the funeral sector.
  2. Details of the Department of Health End of Life Care Strategy are available from: http://www.endoflifecareforadults.nhs.uk/strategy 
  3. *NatCen survey on attitudes towards dying, death and bereavement commissioned on behalf of Dying Matters, July - September 2009
  4. All other statistics reproduced from Variations in Place of Death in England: Inequalities or appropriate consequences of age, gender and cause of death? compiled by the South West Public Health Observatory on behalf of the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network. It is available at http://www.endoflifecare-intelligence.org.uk/resources/publications.aspx.
  5. For press enquiries please contact: 

DMC Media Team

020 7618 9102

dmcoalition@luther.co.uk

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