Dying Matters welcomes report on future of hospice care

22 October 2013
Dying Matters has welcomed a new report into how hospice services will cope with a sharply rising ageing population in the next 10-15 years.

The report, by the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care, was published by Help the Hospices, who set up the Commission in 2011 to help provide strategic direction for UK hospices. The report calls on hospices to adapt their practices to meet the rising demand for services, and to work more closely with other care services. The report shows that the number of UK deaths is predicted to escalate from 2015 onwards, especially for older people who are more likely to suffer from chronic, debilitating conditions.

The report also presents the current evidence on preferences for place of care and place of death in the UK. It shows that most people would prefer to die at home, but also that there is a substantial proportion who would prefer to die in hospices or palliative care units, particularly among older people.

Professor Mayur Lakhani, Chair of Dying Matters and the National Council for Palliative Care, and a practising GP, said: "We welcome the publication of this landmark report, which powerfully sets out the importance of hospices evolving to meet the needs of a changing world and how they can best do this.

"With an ageing population, people living for longer with life limiting conditions, and projected increases in the numbers dying each year, it’s vital to ensure that the hospice movement, which has done so much to transform the care of the dying, can continue to lead the way in improving the care people receive at the end of their lives."

Simon Chapman, Director of Public and Parliamentary Engagement at Dying Matters and the National Council for Palliative Care, added: "We only have one chance to get care right for people who are dying, which is why it’s so important that hospices and all those involved in providing end of life care should constantly look at ways to innovate and improve the services they provide so that they serve the needs of their whole community.

"As hospices face the future, ensuring they broaden their offer and are able to care for people who have complex needs and multiple conditions must be a priority, as must continuing to build excellent relationships with generalist providers, their local communities, care homes, social care providers and local authorities."

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