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Differences in end-of-life hospitalisation patterns between people who died at home before and during the pandemic in Scotland (Preliminary results)

Savinc, Jan; Atherton, Iain



Deaths at home in Scotland increased by approximately 36% in 2020 and 2021 compared to the 2015-2019 period. Only about 2% of home deaths were Covid-related. This represented a shift of deaths from hospital to home during the pandemic and entailed a significant impact on the provision of end-of-life care. Understanding this shift and its impacts has important implications for the planning of end-of-life care services and future preparedness for disruptions to service provision. Nationwide social care data are not currently available for linkage but health service usage patterns of people in their last year of life can be examined.
We will compare people aged 18+ who died in Scotland in the first year of the pandemic to those who died in the five years prior, using routinely collected data (Scottish death and inpatient hospital admissions & discharges). Service usage before and during the pandemic will be compared, in particular length of stay in hospital in the last year of life, to test the hypothesis that patients were discharged earlier to ease pressures on hospitals. Geographical differences in length of hospital stay will be presented in terms of NHS health boards, Urban-rural status and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 19th International Medical Geography Symposium (IMGS 2022)
Start Date Jun 19, 2022
End Date Jun 24, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 27, 2022
Keywords Administrative data, Covid-19, Death at home, Health service use,
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