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16 October 2017

More people to die in care homes than hospitals within a generation

While hospitals have traditionally been the place where most people experience end of life care, research by researchers at the Cicely Saunders Institute has found that by 2040 care homes will overtake hospitals as the most common place to die.

But in order for care homes to cope with the projected rise in deaths, researchers are calling for greater investment to be made – with more beds and increased staff training in palliative care techniques heading the list of must haves.

Strain on hospitals

Lead report author and researcher at the King’s College London  Cicely Saunders Institute  Anna Bone said: “If we are to continue enabling people to die in their preferred place, it is essential to invest more in care homes and community health services. Without this investment, people are likely to seek help from hospitals, which puts pressure on an already strained system and is not where people would rather be at their end of their lives.”

Facing future challenges

This study shows that end of life care will become the core business of health and social services in the near future. We need urgently to prepare for this.

Professor Irene Higginson Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute and senior report author.

Researchers have called for an urgent policy decision and strategic response to these challenges in order to provide high quality care to people reaching the end of their life.

Read more palliative care stories here

Interested in finding out more about palliative care at King’s? Find out more here.


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