Inquiry launches into effects of poor housing and poverty on end-of-life care

MPs are calling for evidence into the detrimental effects of poverty on end-of-life care.

A cross-party group of MPs is calling for evidence for an inquiry into the effects of unsuitable housing and fuel poverty on the care and support people receive at the end of life.


More than two-thirds of people say they would prefer to die at home and dying at home is often used as an indicator that someone has had a ‘good death’.

The inquiry from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Terminal Illness will explore the extent to which the experience of living in unsuitable housing affects people living with terminal illness, their families and carers – and whether it impacts someone’s ability to die at home if that is their wish.

The APPG is seeking evidence from people and organisations with expertise in fuel poverty, housing and homelessness issues, as well as those that work with people experiencing poverty, health and social care providers and people who have experienced terminal illness and bereavement.

Drew Hendry MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Terminal Illness, said the pandemic has shown “the negative impact poverty can have on health, well-being and mortality.”

“The tough decisions many people have to make around whether to eat tonight or heat their homes, the struggle pay rent or the challenges of living in poor quality housing do not disappear when they become terminally ill.

“Sadly, these challenges only become harder and for many, it brings about their death more quickly.”

The APPG’s work follows its previous inquiry, which found that inadequate income can lead to considerable financial strain, stress, anxiety and health impacts on people at the end of life.

A recent report on fuel poverty by end-of-life charity Marie Curie concluded that the impact of fuel poverty can hasten the death of some people with a terminal illness.
“People with terminal illnesses are some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, and when you combine that with experiencing poverty and living in unsuitable housing – or indeed no housing – then the reality of end of life for some is bleak,” Mark Jackson, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Marie Curie said.

“We hope to hear insights from contributors, from all corners of the UK, to support us in tackling the scourge of end-of-life poverty.”

Evidence and insight provided will support the APPG to give recommendations to government, policymakers and providers to improve the end-of-life experience of people living with terminal illness.

The period of consultation will run until Friday 2 April 2021.

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