Access to palliative care services and place of death in Ireland

The Irish Hospice Foundation this week launched the second report in its perspectives series ‘Access to Specialist Palliative Care Services and Place of Death in Ireland; What the Data tells us‘. The report, completed by Eugene Murray based on his research with additional analysis by Dr. Kathy McLoughlin and Sharon Foley, indicated a number of inequalities in access to palliative services in Ireland. Some core findings of the research were;

  • That hospice deficits impact where people die – areas with limited access to a hospice have more cancer deaths in acute hospital
  • An estimated 2,500 patients each year are denied access to hospice inpatient care because of lack of services in their area 

The findings emerged from an examination of data from four sources over two years. Data was sourced from the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) Minimum Data Set for Palliative Care and HSE national and regional population statistics from 2011 along with the National Cancer Registry and the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry from 2010.  This research took an ecological approach bringing together broad population data to explore trends and illustrate areas for further research.

The Irish Hospice Foundation has now called on the government to prioritize the development of a broad end of life strategy.

The full report can be read HERE  

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