Marie Curie is committed to helping commissioners face the challenges ahead

Counting Change, a HSJ commissioning supplementMarie Curie features in this week's commissioning supplement from the Health Service Journal (HSJ) – Counting Change. In the supplement, which was published today, Marie Curie Chief Executive Dr Jane Collins sets the scene for the challenges commissioners are facing. "The proportion of deaths among those aged 85 and over is expected to rise from 32 per cent in 2003 to 44 per cent in 2030. There are also financial pressures on health and social care budgets across the UK and commissioners will need to find efficiency savings, " she said. Jane points out that there are viable alternatives to expensive hospital care for people at the end of life who want to spend their final days at home. Care needs to move from hospitals into the community. Dr Peter Nightingale, Marie Curie and the Royal College of GPs’ National Clinical Lead for End of Life Care, makes the comparison that "in Holland, they have half the hospital death rates we do. Here in the UK, we need access to 24/7 nursing care and we need to be coordinating care."

Encouraging signs

There are encouraging examples of community-based end of life care proving to be effective at keeping people out of hospital and helping them to die in the place of their choosing. Marie Curie is providing nursing care in the community to people at the end of life, keeping them out of hospital. In a recent Nuffield Trust study of 29,000 Marie Curie Nursing Service patients, 77 per cent of Marie Curie patients died at home, compared to 35 per cent in a control group where patients were individually matched on factors such as age and disease. Counting Change also features interviews with Marie Curie's Diana Hekerem, Andrew Wilson-Mouasher and Dr Andrew Daley describing how we are working with partners to improve end of life care in Bradford, Wales and Scotland. Find out more about how Marie Curie provides community-based end of life care Read the HSJ’s commissioning supplement Sign up to receive our newsletter for commissioners