One in four terminally ill don’t get care they need

End of life care

Leading health charity calls for more support for cancer patients 

20th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A cancer charity has told MSPs one in four terminally ill people are not getting the care they need in Scotland.

Marie Curie said a lack of specific funding for end of life care has caused a gap in services.

In a response to the Scottish Parliament's health and sport committee it said there are 56,000 people who die every year in Scotland and it is estimated that 46,000 of those will need some sort of palliative care.

The charity said there is evidence 11,000 people do not get the care they require when they are at the end of their life.

“This is a substantial gap, which must be bridged if the Scottish Government is to deliver on its vision of care for all,” Marie Curie said in its submission to the committee. 

“However, no additional or specific financial resource has been committed to palliative care services locally to support the delivery of these various commitments and priorities relating to palliative care.”

And the charity called for clarity over whether Joint Integration Boards delivering health and social care are working as they should.

Richard Meade, head of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie, told the committee: “It is not clear to us where palliative care sits in IJB priorities. Many don’t even mention palliative care.”

It called for further investment in social care services.

In its written submission it said: “Only with genuine investment and additional resource will Scotland be able to ensure that people get the care they need at home in a way that meets their needs.”

It added: “Investing in palliative care, and those services that ensure palliative care can be delivered to support the government achieve its priorities.”

It called for more research into the financial benefits of investing in palliative care in Scotland.

Using calculations form England to suggest extending funding by £16.8 million could result in savings of £21m and nearly 7,000 fewer hospital deaths.