A review of specialist palliative care provision and access across London - mapping the capital.
All 50 adult SPC providers in London participated, representing hospitals, hospices and community services. •Patients in all 32 CCGs have access to hospice beds, with 322 beds from 15 providers (4 NHS) for a population of 9,323,570 (with 47,583 deaths annually).•SPC in London sees more non-cancer patients than is reported nationally; 79% of hospital advisory, 74% of community, and 88% of hospice in-patient services have higher proportions of non-cancer patients.•Considerable variation in out-of-hours availability of both hospital SPC and community SPC services across London; only 9 of 30 hospital and 17 of 26 community services provide seven-day visiting.•Wide variation in the models of community-based SPC; proportions of community patients attending day services vary from 1 in 4, to 1 in 17, just 13 CCGs have H@H-type provision, with few Rapid Response or Care Coordination services.CONCLUSIONS
This detailed survey demonstrates important gaps in availability and provision of SPC services. Recommendations are made for commissioners and providers to join together to address these. It also gives a comprehensive view of rapidly changing models of community-based care, to inform innovation and service development.