With unprecedented numbers of people living longer and with higher expectations of how they will live out their last years, the management of end-of-life services is being brought into sharper focus. Current models of end-of-life care have originated from the hospice and palliative care movement whose expertise, developed largely with cancer patients is now being looked to for guidance in developing end of life practice for non-cancer dying patients. This paper challenges the social work profession to consider whether the hospice and palliative care model needs to be re-thought; argues that social work is well positioned to help develop a more adequate model of care; and recommends a social model that builds upon the resources and networks already surrounding individuals. The social work profession is well placed to draw upon its values, culture and experience (particularly from the service user movement) and to get involved in developing new models of end of life care. This paper argues the benefits of community engagement through network mobilisation.
- Health and wellbeing