A recent study describes inequitable end of life care was received by those from minority ethnic groups during the pandemic.1 This supports existing literature describing disparities in care received by these groups including lower access to care and higher unmet needs.2
In Wales, Cardiff and the Vale has the highest proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people. This service evaluation describes the current situation in the community palliative care service for people living in Cardiff. Quantitative data was collected in a cross-sectional, retrospective review of records for all patients who were known to the service and died in 2021.
Data included 818 patient records, of which 591 had documented self-reported ethnicity. 95% of patients were from White Ethnic background, compared to 84% of the Cardiff population. Data was compared between the White Ethnic group and combined Minority Ethnic groups. A number of data points were similar; average age (77.3 vs 74.2 years), time between referral and death (88.5 vs 82.4 days) and proportion who died at home (72% vs 75%). There were some differences, including diagnosis at death with 68% of those from the White Ethnic group dying from cancer compared to 44% of Minority Ethnic groups. Additionally, those from minority groups were less likely to have documented preferred place of death (81% vs 87%) but where discussions had taken place, were more likely to achieve this (92% vs 86%). Finally, religion was documented more often in Minority Ethnic groups (81% vs 59%).
This paper shows a difference in the expected proportion of people from different ethnic groups referred to the community palliative care team. Discussion examines the data more closely exploring reasons behind this. It concludes further in-depth qualitative data is needed on a local level to explore individual experiences of care and potential existing barriers to referrals.
Bajwah S, Koffman J, Hussain J, Bradshaw A, Hocaoglu MB, Fraser LK, Oluyase A, Allwin C, Dunleavy L, Preston N, Cripps R, Maddocks M, Sleeman KE, Higginson IJ, Walshe C, Murtagh FEM, CovPall study team. Specialist palliative care services response to ethnic minority groups with COVID-19: equal but inequitable-an observational study. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2021:2045–4368
Calanzani N, Koffman J, Higginson I. Palliative and end of life care for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in the UK. Kings College London. June 2013.
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