Marie Curie Design to Care programme

Through this five-year programme, we’re looking beyond what we’re doing now. We’re rethinking how palliative and end of life care can be provided equitably, efficiently and sustainably for future generations.

What we’re doing 

We’ve launched the Marie Curie Design to Care programme to develop an innovative and sustainable approach to palliative and end of life care that will:

  • take the needs of our ageing population into account
  • provide high-quality care and support to patients, and their families and carers, regardless of the illness they’ve been diagnosed with
  • be effective, equitable, affordable and flexible enough to be applicable anywhere in the UK, where very different levels of health and social care provision currently exist.

We aim to pioneer a new framework so care providers and commissioners across the UK will have the right tools and knowledge to help them design and deliver excellent palliative and end of life care that meets local needs. 

How we’re doing it: three key phases

Why we need this programme

The UK is undergoing a huge demographic shift. By 2036, the number of people aged 65 or over is predicted to rise to more than 17.5 million – almost a 50% increase from the 2016 figure.

With an ageing population that’s living longer, this means more people will be living with multiple health conditions and complex care needs towards the end of their lives.

And, as many more of us will also be living on our own, away from family members who often take on important caring roles, we’re putting even greater pressure on the already stretched health and social care services.

See why experts in palliative care, engineering, design, social sciences and public health are getting together to transform the future of end of life care in the UK.

Who we're working with

To design our programme’s new approach to palliative and end of life care, we’re collaborating with leading researchers from:

Throughout the research and design process, we’re also involving people from a wide range of backgrounds, including patients, carers, community groups, and health and social care professionals.

At key points of the programme, our advisory board will also provide advice and share their expertise. Members of the advisory board include senior academics, civil servants, clinicians, designers, engineers, social scientists, and patient and carer representatives.

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