More people dying in their house
Published on 19 January 2012 02:00 PM
More people are dying in their own home, despite the overall amount of deaths falling, new figures for England and Wales show.
One in five people died at home in 2010, the Office for National Statistics says using research carried out by King's College London.
At least 90,000 people in the UK are not being provided with palliative care, it is estimated.
The mortality figures suggest the increase in deaths at home is dominated by cases of cancer.
Between 2004 and 2010 a total of 93,907 people died in their own house. In 2004 the numbers represented 18.3% of all deaths that year. In 2010, home deaths accounted for 20.8% of all deaths, a rise of 9% and the first increase since 1974 among those aged 85 and above.
However, the overall number of all deaths during the period fell by 3.8%.
Researcher Barbara Gomes said: 'What seemed to be an enormous task has happened: the reversal of the British long-standing trend towards institutionalised dying.'
The findings were reported in the Palliative Medicine journal.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK commented: 'It is good news that the numbers of people able to die at home are rising; we know that many older people would prefer to die at home, in familiar surroundings with their loved ones than within the confines of an institution. However, we are concerned that people over the age of 85 are showing the smallest increase in home deaths when compared with other age groups.
'There needs to be high quality palliative care in place to effectively manage patients' needs at the end of their lives, available to all and not solely for patients who are have terminal conditions. Health professionals who provide palliative care need to receive adequate training to better equip them to provide this vital care at a time that is extremely difficult for both patients and their families.'
Copyright Press Association 2012