Survey data suggests that the majority of people would prefer to die at home, with few wishing to die in hospital. The proportion of deaths that occur in a person's usual place of residence is a key indicator for end of life care. It is also a measure of joined-up working between services to ensure patient choice and access.
The proportion of people dying at their usual place of residence (home, care home or religious establishment) has increased substantially over time, from 35% in 2004 to 47% in 2018. Despite this, over half of deaths are still occurring elsewhere (for example, in hospitals and hospices), so more improvement is needed in this area.
There is marked geographical variation in the proportion of people dying at their usual place of residence, although all regions show similar trends in improvement over time (data not shown). In 2018, London had the lowest proportion of people dying at their usual place of residence (39%) while the South West had the highest proportion (54%).
About this data
This indicator uses data from the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network, which is now part of Public Health England. It uses the percentage of deaths in usual place of residence as a proxy for the quality of end of life care.
The place of death indicator is a percentage calculated as: deaths at usual residence/all deaths multiplied by 100. Usual residence is defined as: home, care homes (local authority and non-local authority) and religious establishments. Deaths in usual residence exclude all deaths from external causes, defined by International Classification of Diseases Tenth Revision (ICD-10 codes V01-Y89 and U50.9), and exclude neonatal deaths. Figures are based on deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring in each year, and are based on the latest boundary and establishment type information.