Professor Sarah Galvani
End of Life Care for People With Substance Problems: Exploring Policy & Practice
Background and aims
Concern about health inequalities among people at the end of their lives has been the subject of increased policy attention. Current UK policy emphasises the importance of equality of care but little is known about whether this extends to people with problematic substance use who are often marginalised in health care provision. As the population ages and a growing number of older people present to health services with substance-related health problems, the issue of end of life care is called into focus. It raises questions about whether current substance use and end of life care services meet the needs of this population and whether resources are equally accessible to them. This session presents new data from an innovative study exploring end of life care for people with substance problems. In particular, it presents data from 3 of the 5 project strands. It aims to:
1. Set out the methodological challenges of determining prevalence and incidence of end of life care for people with substance problems based on a scoping study of existing datasets.
2. Present the clinical and practice challenges faced by a range of professionals when working with people with substance problems at the end of their lives.
3. Share preliminary findings from qualitative data collection with people with substance problems at the end of their lives, some of whom are receiving services. Given the nature of the project, service user representation will be through the medium of audio or visual presentation.
The learning outcomes will include:
1. An understanding of the current limitations in service provision monitoring from existing data collection.
2. Awareness of the policy gaps and practice challenges faced by multi-disciplinary professionals.
3. Insight into the experiences of people with substance problems at the end of their lives.