- More people to die in care homes than hospitals within a generation
- Care home staff need to be trained to provide top quality end of life care
- King’s researchers warn that lack of action could result in poor quality end of life care
While hospitals have traditionally been the place where most people experience end of life care, new research 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.
Hospitals could feel the strain if care homes aren’t prepared
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.”
More has to be done to face future challenge
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.
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