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UK end of life care is best in world

A recent report has seen the UK crowned as best in the world for end of life care. Coming in top out of 80 countries, the 2015 Quality of Death Index study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, praised the quality and availability of UK services, describing hospice care in the nation as ‘second to none.’

The study’s findings have been welcomed by local hospice provider, St Catherine’s Hospice. The hospice receives less than a third of their running costs from the NHS and for the rest rely on the generosity and support of the local community. You never know when or if you might need the care of your local hospice but the support of local people helps ensure St Catherine’s can continue to provide the kind of world leading care that the 2015 Quality of Death Index recognised.

St Catherine’s has been providing high quality end of life care and support to local people with a life limiting illness across Sussex and Surrey for more than 30 years. Last year, the hospice cared for over 2,000 people but with 5,000 deaths across their catchment area every year, and patients living with increasingly complex conditions, demand for their expert services continues to increase.

This demand for services is something Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care also acknowledges. “At its best how the UK cares for people who are dying is absolutely world class with hospice care leading the way, but there can be no room for complacency, especially as the demand for palliative care is increasing.”

St Catherine’s care focuses on helping people live well, whether that’s for months, weeks or years. Committed to reaching as many local people affected by death and dying as possible, St Catherine’s has released plans for a new hospice facility in Pease Pottage. If permission for this new building is granted, it will ensure St Catherine’s can continue to care for future generations and would allow more local people to benefit from their end of life support.

Dr Patricia Brayden, Director of Medical Services at St Catherine’s, said: “Today’s news is excellent, showing hospice care is moving in the right direction. At St Catherine’s, we’re always looking to improve our services for patients and those closest to them but we recognise we have more to do to ensure everyone in our community receives the very best care at the end of their lives. We continue to explore ways to meet the increasing demand for our services, both in the proposed building of new facilities and by working with local commissioners from the NHS to devise ways to respond to the changing needs in our community.”

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