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Palliative and end of life care for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in the UK

Demographic profile and the current state of palliative and end of life care provision

There is growing evidence that ethnic and cultural differences can influence patterns of advanced disease, illness experiences, healthcare seeking behaviour, and the use of healthcare services. The End of Life Care Strategy highlights that although much has been done, inequalities still exist in the care that different groups of people receive at the end of life. In light of increasing national and international evidence of low use of end of life care services amongst Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups it is critical to understand the influence of ethnicity and culture in the context of end of life care and to examine strategies and recommendations to address inequalities. This report therefore provides an evidence-base to understand the profile of BAME populations living in the UK, and identifies their unmet needs regarding palliative and end of life care. Firstly, we describe the characteristics of BAME groups in the UK (ethnic groups by age and geographical region, religion, language and characteristics of the foreign born population). We examine to what extent the BAME populations are expected to increase and grow older in the next few decades according to the most recent population projections. Secondly, we appraise the state of palliative and end of life care provision for BAME groups and present recommendations for policy, practice and research available from the literature. Lastly, based on these two sources of information we present further recommendations with the aim to improve care for BAME populations in the UK.