Homeless people palliative care needs Strathcarron Hospice provides multidisciplinary support, mainly in people’s homes. Clinical expertise in palliative care – through symptom control is dispensed – alongside practical, emotional social and spiritual support for the ill and their loved ones. One of Strathcarron’s specialist doctors, Dr Joy Rafferty has a particular interest in homelessness and co-authored a report with Marie Curie called ‘Dying in the Cold’ . The report identified that people experiencing homelessness have worse health and higher death rates than the general population and often die young. They can have complex palliative care needs and significantly worse symptoms at end of life, yet can struggle to access the palliative and end of life care they need. There are many barriers to accessing palliative care for people experiencing homelessness. These include multiple complex health issues, combinations of issues with physical health, mental health and substance/alcohol use and complex trauma. This significantly impacts their quality of life and ability to access the care they need when dying. Joy said, "People experiencing homelessness can struggle to access palliative and end of life care when they need it. Here at Strathcarron we want to support people to live as well as possible until they die. We know that people experiencing homelessness and other marginalised groups have poorer access to quality palliative care and want to change that. I'm working with colleagues in our local Integration Joint Boards (IJB) to look at the palliative care needs of homeless people across our communities". The findings of the report will be updated in the coming months.