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End-of-life care for minority ethnic communities 'inadequate'

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The provision of palliative and end-of-life care for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups is inadequate, a new report has found.

There is a growing need to address the issue as the population of BAME groups aged 65 and over is set to treble in the next 25 years, according to the
study commissioned by Marie Curie Cancer Care and Public Health England.

The report found examples of best practice but said much more needs to be done to meet people’s varied needs.

It also stated that palliative and end-of-life care services are relatively under-used by BAME communities and cited various reasons for this.

A systematic review suggested that there is a lack of knowledge about services, as well as misunderstandings and mistrust due to previous experiences of discrimination within the BAME communities.

It also identified a lack of cultural sensitivity on the part of service providers.

Improving the quality of communication with the patient and their family members is one way to combat these issues, according to the report.

Professor Julia Verne, clinical lead for Public Health England’s National End of Life Care Intelligence Network, said there is a need to learn from the examples of excellent practice shown in the report “to ensure that end-of-life care is both equitable and accessible to all”.

The study, entitled A Report: Palliative and End of Life Care for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities in the UK, was carried out by the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London.

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  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    'Improving the quality of communication with the patient and their family members is one way to combat these issues, according to the report.'

    True more generally, not just for BAME issues.

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