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The effects on costs of palliative care teams in hospitals

26/07/2017 (16:00-17:00)

Location: Cicely Saunders Institute, Dinwoodie 1 & 2 Lecture Theatre, Denmark Hill Campus

The effects on costs of palliative care teams in hospitals

Speaker: Professor Charles Normand

About the speaker: Professor Charles Normand is the Edward Kennedy Professor of Health Policy and Management at Trinity College Dublin and Visiting Professor of Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Charles’s main research interests are the effects of populating ageing on health and social care, and economic issues in palliative care. Charles has published nearly 200 papers on health economics, and has been actively involved in the management of services and service delivery. His work in palliative care has covered issues around costs, ways of assessing benefits and what people want from services.

Abstract: In an ideal world health service priorities would be based on costs and benefits - all services would be available if the benefits exceed the costs.  This should still be the aim, although it can be very difficult to assess both costs and benefits in the context of complex services such as palliative care.  In some cases a service can reduce rather than increase costs, and there are times when greater or the same benefits can be achieved at lower cost. Clearly there is no coherent argument that we should not provide a service if this is the case.

At the heart of palliative care is skilled support for decision making. The needs of patients and carers are complex, with legitimate differences in objectives and different patterns of Illnesses. Timely and skilled (usually team based) consultations and support can increase access to effective care, may reduce interventions of low value and can lead to better trajectories of care. 

This seminar will discuss findings studies on the effects on costs of palliative care teams in hospitals. First, timing of such interventions is crucial and second, the effects are very dependent on patterns of illness.  Risks of overtreatment are higher in patients with complex needs, which brings higher costs.  The ongoing analyses of the data help us to understand how palliative care can both improve outcomes and lower costs. When costs are lower and benefits higher there is a particular priority. 


Registration: Registration is not required, free event



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