One in four people who require end of life care are not getting the support they need – especially those with conditions other than cancer – according to new analysis published by our sector charity Hospice UK, of which Trinity is a member.
The research highlights that there are potentially 118,000 people in the UK with terminal and life-limiting conditions who are not able to access the expert care they need at the end of life.
Hospice care can provide effective symptom relief for people approaching the end of life, as well as spiritual and psychological support or complementary therapies to promote wellbeing. Hospices also provide vital emotional and practical support to families, including bereavement counselling.
Trinity is proud to be part of a new nationwide campaign called Open Up Hospice Care. It aims to raise awareness among the public about the fact that hospice care is available to all people, regardless of who they are; their sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or illness.
Research shows that there are many reasons why people are not referred for hospice, or other end of life care. For example, people with a non-cancer diagnosis are often referred in smaller numbers and at a later stage than people with a cancer diagnosis. This can be because of low awareness among some healthcare professionals about options such as hospice care in improving quality of life for people with a terminal diagnosis.
Also, studies have shown that people from economically deprived areas, minority ethnic communities and LGBT people can experience barriers to accessing end of life care services.
Hospice UK is working with individual hospices to identify and support people who may be missing out on care, especially those with conditions such as dementia, heart and liver failure and lung disease.
Hospices are also leading initiatives to widen access to palliative and end of life in all settings, such as care homes and hospitals, and investing in new technology such as video conferencing to help support this.
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK said: “Sadly, many families of people with terminal and life-limiting conditions are missing out on the care they need for their loved ones at the end of life. Hospices are leading efforts to widen access to end of life care, especially by reaching out to more people in their communities and also working in partnership with other care providers, but we know there is more to be done.”
Here at Trinity we are calling on people to show their support by donating to the campaign – read more at http://www.trinityhospice.co.uk/open-hospice-care/