Deprivation and end of life care

Date: 
20 June 2013
New analysis from the Office for National Statistics from the National Bereavement Survey 2011 (VOICES) has been published which shows an apparent link between deprivation and the quality of end of life care received.

Significantly more bereaved respondents of patients living in the least deprived areas rated the standard of overall end of life care as excellent (44%) compared with respondents of patients living in the most deprived areas (39%). Patients in the least deprived areas were also more likely to be treated with dignity and respect from services received in the community (district and community nurses and GPs) compared with patients in the most deprived areas. Moreover, respondents of patients who lived in the least deprived areas felt the patient had more choice about where they died compared with those patients that lived in the most deprived areas.

Simon Chapman, Director of Public and Parliamentary Engagement at the National Council for Palliative Care said:

“This report shows that dying does not make equals of us all. It is completely unacceptable that many people in the most deprived areas appear to be treated as second class citizens when they are dying. And there is still a lot to be done to improve care in other parts of the country as well. High quality end of life care must be available for everyone, regardless of where people live or whether they are rich or poor.

We are making progress and there are great examples of superb care, but this should be happening for everybody, everywhere. We need a new deal for the dying, where excellent care and support is the norm and where people are always treated with dignity and respect at the end of their life.”

You can download the report from the Office of National Statistics website here.

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