Improving end of life care for homeless people

Categories: Care.

Homelessness and End of Life Care‘, by St Mungo’s and Marie Curie Cancer Care, pulls together practical tools, templates and useful information for staff working in homelessness organisations and with people who are homeless.

The aim of he pack is to help frontline staff identify residents who are at risk of developing a terminal illness and talk confidently about end of life issues with service users and health and social care professionals.

While the guide is primarily aimed at those working in supported accommodation, assertive outreach, drug and alcohol services, and homeless day centres, it will also be useful for health and social care professionals who provide health or social care to people experiencing homelessness who are approaching the end of their lives or experiencing bereavement.

The pack includes a number of practical tools, such as a checklist of what to do when a resident with a terminal illness is identified, and templates for completing an asessment and for recording advance decisions.

Peter Kennedy, St Mungo’s Palliative Care Service coordinator, said: “Hostel staff are best placed to recognise when a resident’s condition is deteriorating. But end of life care is not an easy subject to broach, for many of us. This resource pack offers staff tools to help offer the best possible palliative care to a person, while also preparing friends, family and fellow staff.”

Charles Fraser, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, said: “The aim is for this resource pack to become a must-have resource for every homelessness organisation nationwide. We are extremely pleased to be working with Marie Curie to help bridge the gaps which make it difficult for homeless people to get the healthcare they need.”

The resource pack is available to download online at

St Mungo’s Palliative Care service was set up in 2008 in partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care, and with original funding from the Department of Health. As well as the new guide, St Mungo’s also provides training for frontline hostel staff, for more information contact

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