Hospital admissions for terminally ill costing NHS £2.5 billion

Marie Curie has reported that the NHS is struggling to cope with A&E admissions of people who are in the last year of their lives and that it will hit crisis point unless community care is not improved.

There were over 1.6 million emergency admissions for people in the last year of their life in Britain in 2016, costing the NHS £2.5 billion and amounting to around 11 million days in hospital. However, emergency admissions to hospital for people in the last year of life can often be avoided if adequate care in the community is provided.

The charity warns that the cost of emergency admissions for people in the last year of life could almost double over the next 20 years, meaning up to 8,000 extra hospital beds could be needed by 2038, which could cost the NHS an extra £2 billion.

Simon Jones, director of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie, said: “Unnecessary hospital admissions are a huge cost to the NHS and as the number of people dying each year is set to increase significantly, we need to address the provision of care now in order to avoid further crisis. While some emergency hospital admissions for people living with a terminal illness are appropriate and necessary, many are not and can often be avoided entirely if appropriate care in the community is provided.”

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