SHAFAQNA – UK hospices could see a significant increase in Muslim patients in the coming years, in part due to changes to the traditional family structure, a report has suggested.
Muslim communities have historically not relied upon hospices, with families instead caring for relatives at home, the report by the Woolf Institute says.
But that is becoming harder, with more parents both now working, it added.
It called for better planning so Muslim patients can access care in the future.
The study warned that demographic changes within Muslim communities were likely to increase the demand for hospice and end-of-life care.
Although still younger on average than the wider UK population, the number of Muslims aged 65 and over was increasing steadily, the report added.
The number of elderly Muslim people was expected to reach 250,000 in the next 15 years, it said.
But it said there were “glaring gaps” when it came to data around the number of Muslims using hospices in the UK.
The report called for local councils, the NHS and hospices to ensure data was recorded about the religion and ethnicity of those using their services to help plan care in the future.
It concluded that, unless action was taken now, Muslim communities would not be able to access vital services when they needed them most.