Extending specialist palliative care to all?

Soc Sci Med. 1999 May;48(9):1271-80. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(98)00430-4.


How to extend palliative care services to all patients needing them is an issue currently exercising a range of bodies in contemporary Britain. This paper first considers the evidence regarding the needs of dying patients with long term conditions other than cancer and concludes that there is evidence to support their presumed need for palliative care. It then considers five potential barriers to extending specialist palliative care services to non-cancer patients in Britain. These are the skill base of current specialists in palliative care, difficulties in identifying candidates for specialist palliative care, the views of potential users of these services, resource implications and vested interests in present health service arrangements.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Medicine
  • Palliative Care*
  • Specialization
  • Terminal Care*
  • United Kingdom