Part of: Ill Health and Disability

Related to: End of Life Care, Children and Young People

Key Facts:

  • There were 439 people in 2012/13 (financial year) registered as receiving palliative care in GP practises in Bath and North East Somerset, a rate of 0.2% of the registered population.
  • For the B&NEs 2012 population, the estimated number of children in the GP population with palliative care needs was 58.

Palliative care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Unlike hospice care, palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life.

Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient's life. This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.

What does the data say?

There were 439 people in 2012/13 (financial year) registered as receiving palliative care in GP practises in Bath and North East Somerset.* 1

The prevalence of palliative care is extremely similar in B&NES as it is nationally, and both have experienced a very gradual increase from 0.1% in 2008/09 to 0.2% in 2012/13 (financial years).*2

palliative_care_rate_in_the_bnes_and_england_gp_populations_2008-2013_line_graph

Figure 1: Palliative Care prevalence in B&NES and England GP registered populations (2008/09 – 2012/13 financial years) 3

*It is important to note that the above rates are based on the GP registered population of Bath and North East Somerset and so some of these people may not be residents of Bath North East Somerset. Nevertheless, the vast majority of people will be registered with a GP in their county of residence.

For more up to date prevalence figures for palliative care recorded as part of the NHS Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), see the Ill Health and Disability section. 

Children’s Palliative Care 4

The estimated national prevalence of children with palliative care needs is 16 per 10,000 (0-19 year olds) or 15 per 10,000 excluding neonatal deaths 5

Based on these, for the B&NEs 2012 population, the estimated number of children in the GP population with palliative care needs were 58 (excluding neonates) or 62 (including neonates) and the estimated number with cancer care needs is 5.

More recent data from a University of Leeds study 6 which used Hospital Episode Statistics identified higher prevalence of life limiting conditions both nationally and at a regional level. This estimates the number of children with life-limiting conditions in B&NES as 112 (29.8 per 10,000 population). Of these conditions the most prevalent is estimated to be congenital, the neurological and then cancers.