Usher Institute

Marie Curie Parliamentary Briefing

Research led by Anne Finucane and Emeritus Professor Scott Murray features in Marie Curie briefing for the Scottish Parliament.

Palliative care need in Scotland is projected to increase by up to 20% by 2040

The first study to project estimates of future palliative care need in Scotland, was undertaken by Marie Curie, University of Edinburgh, Kings College London, and Public Health Scotland.

The study estimated the prevalence of palliative care need by analysing the proportion of deaths from defined chronic progressive illnesses. It described linear projections up to 2040 using national death registry data and official mortality forecasts. An expert consultation and subsequent online consensus survey were carried out which generated recommendations on meeting future palliative care need.

Marie Curie have published a briefing paper for the Scottish Parliament outlining the study findings.

The following key points were highlighted

  1. By 2040, up to 95% of all people who die may need a palliative care approach in Scotland. This could mean an additional 10,000 more people.
  2. The number of people dying every year with over 40% of all people dying of at least two conditions by 2040.
  3. To support this, the Integration Authorities must provide more sustained funding for palliative care services in communities and review single disease health and social care models to reflect increasing multi-morbidities in patients.
  4. Without this investment, thousands of Scots could die without the right palliative and end of life care support.

The government should target any new health and social care resource towards improving care for older people living and dying at home and in care homes, where we predict that one-third of people will die by 2040

Emeritus Professor Scott Murray

Read the full briefing

Marie Curie Briefing: Palliative care need in Scotland is projected to increase by up to 20% by 2040 (February 2021)

Research paper