Variation in geographic access to specialist inpatient hospices in England and Wales

Health Place. 2012 Jul;18(4):832-40. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


We seek to map and describe variation in geographic access to the set of 189 specialist adult inpatient hospices in England and Wales. Using almost 35,000 small Census areas (Local Super Output Areas: LSOAs) as our units of analysis, the locations of hospices, and estimated drive times from LSOAs to hospices we construct an accessibility 'score' for each LSOA, for England and Wales as a whole. Data on cancer mortality are used as a proxy for the 'demand' for hospice care and we then identify that subset of small areas in which accessibility (service supply) is relatively poor yet the potential 'demand' for hospice services is above average. That subset is then filtered according to the deprivation score for each LSOA, in order to identify those LSOAs which are also above average in terms of deprivation. While urban areas are relatively well served, large parts of England and Wales have poor access to hospices, and there is a risk that the needs of those living in relatively deprived areas may be unmet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • England
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Hospice Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Travel
  • Wales