Research released today (Thursday 7th June 2018) by Dr Sarah Russell, Head of Research at Hospice UK and the University of Leeds, has found that adults with conditions such as dementia, liver failure and stroke are unfortunately not receiving palliative care from hospices soon enough in their illness due to the timing of referrals from other healthcare services.

According to the research (based on referral data from people who died in 2015), people with cancer were referred for hospice care much sooner than those with other incurable illnesses. Sadly, in Wales, it was estimated that these people only received care 17 days prior to their deaths.

In comparison to these figures, City Hospice (in 2017) provided hospice care to people they had known for around 136 days prior to them dying thus allowing them to have longer and better relationships with them.

Dr Margred Capel, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at City Hospice, welcomes the research. “We are pleased to see that as a hospice, we are seeing people for much longer than the 17 days estimated for Wales in 2015.

We’re pleased that we have a positive relationship with GPs in Cardiff and because of that, last year, people with diagnoses other than cancer were known to us for much longer. It’s great to see these providers recognising the importance of referring people to us earlier on. 25% of people we visit and see at the hospice, don’t have cancer. More needs to be done to ensure everyone has the same access to hospice care and that everyone gets the support they need.”

City Hospice, formerly George Thomas Hospice, is a charity providing specialist palliative care to patients in their own homes. They provide support to families and offer a counselling service (adults and children), a welfare benefits advice service and day centre activities for patients.

From April 2018, City Hospice became the main community-based care provider in Cardiff, receiving referrals from all GP practices in the city.

Read the full research paper here.