Home nursing services provide a crucial role in improving care for the terminally ill and older people, and in relieving pressure on NHS resources

This article was part of the End of Life Care channel, in association with Marie Curie Cancer Care. The channel is no longer being updated.

The recently published Going Home Alone report revealed that older people discharged from hospital without enough support are more than twice as likely to be readmitted within three months. Many of these older patients will be terminally ill and at the end of life. We also know that with winter fast approaching, there will be an upsurge in demand on the NHS for beds.

Money, cash and notes

Join the debate on how much it might actually cost to deliver end of life care in the community

If there is no adequate care in place for those patients who no longer require hospital treatment, approximately 1,000 patients a day in England cannot be discharged. This then blocks beds for those who do require clinical treatment in an acute hospital.

Marie Curie is passionate about ensuring that people at the end of their lives – and their loved ones – are able to have access to the high quality care they need, at the time they need it the most. If the right community services are in place, we can ensure that fewer people with no clinical need to be in hospital end up there, thereby relieving pressure on the NHS.

The Nuffield Trust recently published a report, Exploring costs at the end of life, which is the first piece of research to estimate costs from various care services to calculate how much it might actually cost to deliver end of life care in the community.

This theme will form the basis of a Twitter chat from Marie Curie on Friday 5 December 2014, between 12pm and 1pm. Phil McCarvill, head of policy, and Michael Cooke, head of analytics, will be hosting the chat using #bettereolc.

This will be an opportunity to share knowledge and experience with peers on the role of home nursing services in improving care for the terminally ill and older people and potentially reducing costs to the NHS. Anyone with an interest in end of life care for the terminally ill – from commissioners to clinicians – should consider joining the chat. To find out more visit the Marie Curie website.