End-of-life and hospice care failing trans and non-binary people, groundbreaking report finds

A bed-ridden person holds hands with a loved one.

More needs to be done in improving end-of-life care for trans and non-binary people, an eye-opening report has revealed.

The first-of-its-kind report by charity Hospice UK analysed how trans people are cared for when and after they pass away.

It found that, among various other issues, trans people’s needs and wishes are often not met.

“Staff working in end-of-life care feel they lack the knowledge and training to deliver appropriately inclusive care to trans and gender diverse patients,” the report read.

Researchers used several instances of end-of-life care for trans and non-binary people, finding that it was often not inclusive.

Additionally, staff interviewed by Hospice UK raised concerns about discriminatory views in the workplace not being adequately addressed by officials.

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The lack of understanding of transgender and non-binary people typically leads to “confusion over identity and instances of poor care”.

Hospice UK director of policy, advocacy and clinical programmes told PinkNews that the research revealed the “unequal access to health and care” for trans people.

“Our new report uses real-world experience to understand and inform how trans and gender-diverse people access and understand end-of-life care.

“It serves as a platform to highlight the needs of these communities.”

Not only does the lack of consideration for trans patients lead to discrimination, the community often fears that similar issues could arise should they be on their deathbeds.

Many trans people reportedly fear their identity won’t be respected after their death on official records, as well as funeral services.

“Many in these communities are apprehensive about accessing end-of-life care,” palliative care consultant Dr Ellie Kane said.

“Hospice UK’s report shows that the palliative care and hospice sector want to change this, and provides some vital recommendations to make this change happen.”

Researchers suggest that those in the sector should receive training on trans identities, as well as extra support throughout their careers.

Providers should also be encouraged to provide documents that outline specific information important to the individual such as pronouns, preferred name and presentation.