National Survey of Patient Activity Data for Specialist Palliative Care Services

MDS report 14_15 thumbnail

MDS full report for the year 2014-15

Published: 6 September 2016

This report is an update to the annual national survey of patient activity data for specialist palliative care services, minimum data set (MDS). It looks at a wide range of specialist palliative care issues, including inpatient activity, day care, community care, hospital support, bereavement support, outpatients, staffing, diagnoses and services for young people.

The aim of the MDS is to provide good quality, comprehensive data about hospice and specialist palliative care services on a continuing basis. They are used to inform:

  • service management
  • service monitoring and audit
  • development of local palliative care and end of life care strategy planning
  • commissioning of services
  • development of national policy

This year’s report shows:

  • 81% of patients supported by community palliative and hospice teams die out of hospital compared to a national average of 48%. The involvement of a community team more than doubles the chance being able to die at home.
  • The survey indicates that at least a third of those with an expected death are seen by palliative and hospice community teams. Although this is significant, it still demonstrates potential unmet need for many people towards the end of life who could benefit from palliative and hospice care.
  • There has been a steady increase in the proportion of people admitted into specialist palliative care and hospice beds from hospital. This is in line with national policy and personal preferences.
  • Access to specialist palliative care for patients with a non-cancer diagnosis is slowly improving. Over the last 6 years the numbers have doubled from 14% to 29% in hospital and community settings. However all services are still predominantly referred patients with cancer, despite this being the cause of death in only 29% of the population.

Download the report National Survey of Patient Activity Data for Specialist Palliative Care 14_15 

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