The Great Daffodil Appeal means even more to Marie Curie in 2021 than previous years. Marie Curie Nurses have been on the front line of the pandemic providing vital care for dying people and their loved ones.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have unexpectedly been affected by the loss of someone close to them. Dying has suddenly become a front-of-mind issue for us all.
Even before the pandemic, we had an ageing population. By 2040, it’s predicted that the number of people in the UK aged 85+ will double from 1.6 million to 3.2 million. People are living longer with multiple conditions. This means a ‘tsunami’ of demand for end of life care and support is expected over the next decade.
Already, one in four people don’t get the care or support they need at the end of their lives. The coronavirus crisis has given us a glimpse of the future and has exposed the weaknesses in the delivery of end of life care in the UK. The health and social care system we know today simply won’t be able to cope with the future demand for palliative and end of life care. This could mean increased isolation and suffering for people at the end of life, as well as for those who are bereaved.
The world around us is changing significantly and the external challenges of health and social care, such as funding, commissioning, fundraising and politics are likely to continue to be disruptive for many years to come.
Changes in these areas have resulted in inequities in accessing care and support, disproportionate funding, gaps in end of life provision based on what people need, and an end of life system which is overly complicated, disconnected and fraught with barriers.
At Marie Curie, we see a different society where everyone has the very best care at the end of their lives, and support for their loved ones as well. We aspire to be a country where everyone can expect the best possible last chapter of life, and their loved ones are able to start the next chapter of their own lives as well as they can.
We only get one chance to get this right for people at the end of their lives and we must find new ways to support more people beyond those we reach directly though our services.
Now, more than ever, change is needed across the whole health and social care system, so people can get the end of life care and support they want and need.
Marie Curie has therefore established a new strategic drive to ensure that everyone in the UK gets the best possible end of life experience. We’ve identified the areas where we can contribute the most in order to make sure that happens.