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Place of Death report

Researching where and how people die

A core value for palliative care is to empower patients facing the end of their life by ensuring appropriate care is delivered where they wish to spend their last days. The Cicely Saunders Institute aims to provide the best and latest evidence to make this possible. Our research team has conducted a series of studies over the last 15 years looking at where and how people die, and their preferences.

This new report in the journal Palliative Medicine highlights a reversal of the British trends in place of death.  By undertaking a time series analysis for the period 2004 – 2010, Institute Director Professor Higginson and researchers Barbara Gomes and Natalia Calanzani show how there has been a slow but steady increase in the proportion of deaths at home, following trends in the USA and Canada.   In the UK, home deaths increased for the first time since 1974 amongst people aged 85 years and over.

The report was widely covered in the UK and several outlets in China. BBC Radio has also interviewed authors Irene Higginson and Barbara Gomes.