Access to Specialist Palliative Care Services and Place of Death in Ireland

by Eugene Murray; Kathleen McLoughlin; Sharon Foley

May 1, 2013
The aim of this report is to provide data, analysis and commentary to stimulate discussion on emerging trends in relation to the provision of specialist palliative care in Ireland. The report mines existing data from four key sources -- the Health Service Executive's (HSE) Minimum Data Set for Palliative Care; the National Cancer Registry; the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry, and HSE population records (2011) -- to compare and contrast administrative regions of the health service against national averages on a number of key indicators (number of hospice beds, waiting times for first assessment of patient, place of death, etc), and to examine the impact of varying levels of investment in palliative care on access to services and service activity. In particular, the report seeks to explore possible relationships between access to specialist palliative care services and place of death. It is clear from the data emerging from all four sources that there is a marked correlation between the availability or otherwise of hospice/palliative care services and where people die.
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