Britain the best place to die: global study

Britain leads the world in the quality of care it provides for the dying, leaving many developed nations lagging a long way behind, according to a study released Wednesday.

State support for end-of-life care and an effective network of hospices put Britain top of the list of 40 countries, despite not having the best healthcare system overall, said a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Researchers looked at factors including public awareness, availability of training and access to pain killers and doctor-patient transparency to compile the "quality of death" index.

Australia ranked second on the global list followed by New Zealand and Ireland, with Germany, the US and Canada also featuring in the top 10.

Many rich nations were in the bottom half of the list, including Denmark (22nd) and Finland (28th). India scored worst at number 40, with Portugal, South Korea and Russia also in the bottom 10.

In the worst cases, the study found the quality and availability of care was often poor and policy co-ordination was lacking.

It said "few nations, including rich ones with cutting-edge healthcare systems" incorporate end-of-life care strategies into their overall healthcare policy.

In many of these countries, increasing longevity and ageing populations mean demand for end-of-life care "is likely to rise sharply", said the study.

Falling birth rates, especially in developed countries, are likely to complicate the situation and, for the first time in history, the number of people over 65 will outnumber children under five years old, it added.

"For the end-of-life care community, this presents a new and complex set of problems," the report said.

The study recommended more training for potential home carers, adding that palliative care need not mean institutional care and that many patients choose to die at home.

The report cited data showing that more than 100 million patients and their family care-givers need palliative support annually, but fewer than eight per cent of them actually receive it.

"Governments and providers are in a race against time," said the study, warning that spread of ageing was rapidly outpacing efforts to provide much-needed care.

Researchers interviewed doctors, specialists and other experts across the 40 countries listed, including 30 nations within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and 10 others for which data was available.

crt/gj/cjo

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there