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Hospices “pivotal” for Scottish Government’s end of life care ambitions

15 February 2018

Scottish hospices are “pivotal” for the Scottish Government to double provision of community-based palliative care by 2021, according to a new report by Hospice UK.

The Hospice Care in Scotland report 2017 highlights the importance of hospices in supporting Health and Social Care Partnerships and helping expand home-based care. It states that hospices can help improve capacity in generalist health settings by sharing their expertise in end of life care with other care providers.

The report also highlights the substantial contribution made by Scottish hospices, especially in providing community-based support.

In 2016-17 hospices in Scotland supported 19,000 people of all ages, ranging from new-born babies to centenarians. During that year a total of 12,000 people received hospice care in their homes.

Home-based hospice care offers many positive benefits for people with life-limiting conditions, enabling them to remain with their families in a familiar environment and also helping reduce the need for disruptive and stressful hospital admissions at the end of life.

The report emphasises that hospices can play a key role supporting Health and Social Care Partnerships , especially in planning for palliative care services, as well as helping develop the palliative  training and professional development needs of the wider health and care network.

According to the report, most hospices in Scotland provide telephone advice for people at the end of life, and also to GPs and health professionals working in hospitals and care homes.

In addition, the vast majority of hospices (86 per cent) provide education and training to external health and social care professionals. 

Eilidh Macdonald, Policy and Advocacy Manager Scotland at Hospice UK, said:  

“Hospices offer a wide range of community-based services to support terminally ill people and their families, in line with their needs and preferences, whether day hospice services or providing care at home.

“Hospices are pivotal to getting more high quality care to more Scots and in the place they prefer. If the Scottish Government is to achieve its ambitions on end of life care by 2021 it will need to work with hospice services and also invest in expanding hospice-led community care.”

To read the full report visit Hospice UK

See more articles in Research

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