Substance use and palliative care
This website will offer resources developed from a programme of research on end of life care for people with alcohol and other drug problems.
About Our Research
The programme of research was inspired by practitioners’ concerns about improving the end of life care offered to people with problematic substance use, and their families, friends and carers.
The first project was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund between 2016 and 2018. The research programme was the first of its kind to explore current practice and service experience from a range of perspectives: people approaching the end of their lives, professionals in substance use and hospice services, family, friends and carers, and a group of experts from across the UK. It also comprised of:
- Published national and international research evidence.
- Interviews with key informants working in policy or practice whose work covered the overlap between substance use and end of life care.
- A review of national datasets that might help determine the scale of the issue.
- Interviews with people who have/ had substance problems and are approaching the end of their life.
- Interviews with families and carers of people with substance problems who are approaching the end of their life or have died.
- Surveys and interviews with hospice and substance use service practitioners to gauge their experience of working with this client group, the challenges they face, and collate examples of good practice.
- And a review of national datasets that might help determine the scale of the issue.
The second project was funded by a Chancellor’s Fellowship Award from Manchester Metropolitan University. It enabled us to continue our work with a specific focus on policy development. Following consultation with a large group of professionals in the City of Liverpool, Merseyside, the team produced the first ever policy standards document focussed on supporting people at or near the end of their lives who use substances.
The third project has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research, specifically its Social Care grants. It builds on the findings from the first two projects and aims to develop a model of care for people using substances at or near the end of their lives. We are working with social care and health agencies from the voluntary and statutory sector across Liverpool, Merseyside, and Southport and Sefton areas. These include social work teams, hospices, housing charities, substance use specialists, community end of life care teams, specialist GP services and our community voice partner organisation, VoiceBox Inc. This project runs from 2019 to 2022 and any findings and related material will be shared on this website.