The number has increased within local communities as a result of more people dying at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Marie Curie health care teams experiencing a 14% increase in demand for the charity’s community nursing service, which cares for terminally ill people at home.
In the last year alone, more than 63,000 people have died in Scotland, with more than 56,700 having estimated to have had a palliative care need. As a result of the pandemic, where hospital admissions for non-covid patients was reduced, there were 6,000 more deaths at home in Scotland, a 40% increase on the previous year.
Richard Meade, head of policy in Scotland, said: “With such an increase in the number of people dying at home during the pandemic, and despite the best efforts of health and social care teams, we are concerned that many people may not have received some or all of the care and support they needed in their final hours, days, weeks and months of life.
"This is extremely worrying.
“The Scottish Government’s inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic must include scrutiny of the care terminally ill people and family carers received at home, so lessons can be learned for future to ensure palliative and end of life care services can be accessed by everyone, and all end of life experiences are dignified and compassionate.”