St Mungo’s and Marie Curie to offer end of life care to homeless

A pioneering service offering end-of-life care to homeless hostel residents has been launched by homelessness charity St Mungo’s and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The pilot project, which is supported by a Department of Health healthcare innovation fund, will provide palliative care to any of the 1,400 people staying at St Mungo’s London-based housing projects at any one time.

Nursing and management staff from Marie Curie Cancer Care will be offering their expertise to the project.

According to St Mungo’s, around 30 homeless people die each year at one of their hostels or supported housing schemes. The average age of the deceased is just 40 and the main causes of death are reported as cardiac arrest, liver failure, cancer and respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.

St Mungo’s chief executive Charles Fraser said: “This new service is going to make a significant difference to individual residents approaching the end of their life. We also want it to become a model for the future of such care for homeless people.”

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