Marie Curie calls for national leadership as 10,000 more Scots each year may need palliative care by 2040

New research has predicted that up to 95% of all people who die in Scotland may need palliative care by 2040, with more than 60,000 people expected to die from terminal illness.

The number of Scots dying from multiple diseases is also expected to increase by 82% by 2040.

Led by researchers at Marie Curie and the University of Edinburgh, the research predicts an increase in the number of people dying from cancer and dementia, but a decrease in organ failure deaths over the next 20 years. People aged 85 and over are expected to account for almost half (47%) of those who die with palliative care needs by 2040.

Following this research, Marie Curie today released her manifesto for the 2021 Scottish parliamentary elections. The charity calls on all parties to make palliative care a priority for the next Scottish government with a new national strategy and leadership national dedicated to enable Scotland to cope with growing demographic changes and to ensure that people who are dying receive the best support and care they need. .

Dr Anne Finucane, Marie Curie Principal Investigator at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Our research shows that the vast majority of people who die today and in the future can benefit from palliative care. This includes a substantial number of older people who are dying of several illnesses.

“More people are dying from more than one disease, indicating a greater symptom burden and the need for better coordinated care. Continued investment in digital systems and shared electronic health and social care records will be essential to meet the palliative care needs of the people of Scotland.

Richard Meade, Public Affairs Officer, Scotland, Marie Curie, commented: “Everyone will experience death, death and mourning at some point in their life and people deserve the best possible care and support for them, their people. family and friends. Unfortunately, many people today are missing some or all of the care they need. With more and more people dying each year requiring a palliative approach and with increasing levels of complexity, we must plan to ensure that we close the care gap before it starts to widen.

‘The next Scottish government must work for a Scotland where death, death and bereavement is openly spoken, where people can plan and discuss their care and preferences, and where all concerned have the right to best possible end-of-life experience that reflects what is most important to them. “

Professor Scott Murray of the University of Edinburgh, Primary Palliative Care Research Group, said:

“We have evidence that the number of deaths of people with dementia is expected to more than double by 2040. The government should therefore target any new health and social care resources towards improving care for the elderly living and dying. at home and in nursing homes, where we predict that a third of people will die by 2040. It will also allow more people to die where they want to and prevent many hospitalizations.