Royal Trinity Hospice, a leading hospice and champion for better care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities, has called for more action to address inequalities in end of life care. The charity argues that hospices should do more to build relationships with frontline agencies working with underserved communities, to remove barriers and to gain insights into how to improve care. Royal Trinity Hospice is responding to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report A different ending: Addressing inequalities in end of life care released today.

The CQC report highlights concerns about the quality of end of life care for people from a range of groups- including Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME), homeless people, LGBT communities and people with dementia - and examines the barriers that prevent them from receiving high quality, joined up care at the end of their life.

Dallas Pounds, Chief Executive of Royal Trinity Hospice, said, “Hospices offer quality of end of life care but this report reinforces the fact that not everyone has equal access to the support we can offer.

“At Trinity, we are proud of our success in reaching out to LGBT communities, and have worked hard to champion the particular needs of LGBT people in end of life care. We also work closely with local BAME groups, dementia support services and homeless hostels, among others, to reduce barriers to access. Engaging with these organisations has provided us with invaluable insights to help shape and improve the care we provide.

“This work is not easy and requires capacity and expertise that may not be readily available in every hospice. However hospices cannot afford to be complacent. With a changing health and social care environment and increasing diverse and transient communities, we know this work will grow in importance in the coming years.”

The CQC’s review has been carried out in response to the recommendation made by the Department of Health in its report ‘More Care Less Pathway’ to examine ‘how dying patients are treated across various settings’. The report focused on end of life care for people who may be less likely to receive good care, whether because of diagnosis, age, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or social circumstances.