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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The development of palliative and end-of-life care in the UK has been shaped by history and circumstances within and outside palliative care itself. The main focus of this review is to describe adult palliative care services in England, although much of the historical developments apply across the whole of the UK, and some of the later developments affect children's services as well. RECENT FINDINGS: From the pioneering days of Cicely Saunders, many landmark events have explicitly, or inadvertently, influenced the development of palliative and end-of-life care services. In the UK, it is generally recognized that there is a difference between generalist and specialist palliative care. Funding models, key reports, national strategies, and initiatives in education and training have all contributed to the journey that this specialty has undergone in this country. SUMMARY: Although there is comprehensive coverage of palliative care obtainable across the UK and good access to medication and equipment, there remains a lot of inequity to challenge and address, including those relating to geography, diagnosis, age and ethnicity.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Support Palliat Care

Publication Date





195 - 200


Adult, Delivery of Health Care, England, Humans, Models, Organizational, Palliative Care, Terminal Care, United Kingdom