Knowing what we don't know: what the data do and don't tell us about end of life care for people with substance problems

First published: 09/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

Current strategies for improving end of life care in the UK aim to improve recognition of when someone is entering their end of life and widen the access and optimise people’s choices for their end of life. However, evidence now indicates that people who have non-cancer terminal illnesses associated with substance use are likely to not be receiving the quality end of life care that is available to people with cancer diagnoses.

The project presented investigates the prevalence of people with end of life care needs who have associated substance use problems, and explores reasons why they may be missing out on the end of life care that is available. The findings suggest that there are problems with auditing end of life care services to improve quality of delivery, and that people with substance use health problems may present a care challenge on the basis of the unpredictability of the illnesses they are more likely to have.

November 2017


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Dr Lucy Webb