Public fears over hospice demand
Published on 22 October 2013 02:00 PM
Members of the public are becoming increasingly concerned that a rising number of people will require hospice care in the future, a survey has shown.
Charity Help the Hospices polled 2,000 people in Britain about the future provision of hospice care. It found that 7 in 10 people believed demand for such care would 'rocket' in coming years.
Publication of the survey's findings coincides with a report from the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care, which sets out the challenges the sector will need to address in the next 10 to 15 years.
The report emphasises the need for hospices and other care services to increase efficiency by co-operating with each other and pooling resources. It also calls for more flexibility in the sector so hospices can adapt their services according to increasing and changing demands.
Help the Hospices said it anticipates a sharp rise in the number of people needing to use hospices in the next decade as more people live for longer. It says this trend has resulted in 'considerable public concern'.
‘Joined up thinking is required'
Chairman of Help the Hospices, Lord Howard, says the public recognises that joined up thinking is required from the hospice sector and other care agencies if they are to cope with the increased demand.
He described the commission's report as a clarion call to the hospice sector to brace itself for future challenges.
He added: 'Through partnership working and by sharing their expertise more widely in providing compassionate, cohesive care, hospices have a big role to play in tackling the demands of an ageing population and helping transform care across all settings, from hospitals to care homes.'
Chairman of the National Council for Palliative Care, Professor Mayur Lakhani, said: 'With an ageing population, people living for longer with life limiting conditions, and projected increases in the numbers dying each year, it's vital to ensure that the hospice movement, which has done so much to transform the care of the dying, can continue to lead the way in improving the care people receive at the end of their lives.'
Copyright Press Association 2013