Yesterday's news that 70 per cent of people living with cancer also have at least one other long term condition is yet further confirmation that cancer is now a complex disease. And it is worrying news for a health and social care system which is already struggling to provide the cancer care that people deserve.
Everyone deserves care that works for them and their families at the end of their lives. However, we know that end of life care is not meeting the needs of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, and we are in danger of failing to reach increasing numbers unless urgent steps are taken.
Better identification of people who are in the last days and weeks of life, increased provision of community-based services and greater integration of hospital and community-based services are essential to help reduce the pressures on the NHS and increase choices and services for people at the end of life.
I feel that the UK is at a crossroads in much the same way that the US was several decades ago. High profile court cases surrounding patient rights at the end of life catalyzed a set of changes, which led to America's current system of aggressive treatments at all costs regardless of futility or clinical common sense.