Average care costs by age band in the last year of life


Published: 08/10/2012

This study extracted and linked anonymous health and social care data to examine the care history of 16,479 individuals who died in 2007 in three Primary Care Trust (PCT)/local authority areas.

The research found that on average 30 per cent of the group used some form of local authority-funded social care service in the 12 months prior to death, with higher uptake in older age groups. This figure shows that the balance of hospital inpatient and social care costs shifted dramatically with increasing age.

When measured over a 12-month period (as opposed to single months), after age 60 hospital costs at the end of life declined with increasing age, while social care costs increased. A crossover occurs in people aged over 90, when estimated social care costs in the last year of life exceed the hospital inpatient costs.

This analysis was published in December 2010 in the Nuffield Trust report: Social care and hospital use at the end of life. The techniques used in this analysis marked a significant step forward in information about end of life care. 

To find out more about our work in this area visit the Patterns of care at the end of life project page.

Appears in

Social care and hospital use at the end of life 08/12/2010Dr Jennifer Dixon CBE | Dr Martin Bardsley | Theo Georghiou


This report investigates the use and estimated costs of hospital and social care services for large groups of individuals at the end of thei...

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