Dr Anna Lock, Justine Wiltshire and Lucy Hawkins reflect on the Strategy Unit's innovative end of life care analysis. How can this work help clinicians to improve services?

Support at the end of life matters in a profound and very human way. Good support can ease a difficult time; poor support can do the reverse. And the resources consumed - financial and emotional - are great.  

Improving care begins with knowing 'where you are'. So, using linked data, we looked at every adult death in the Midlands in 2018/19. We described people’s healthcare use in the last two years of their life, showing local areas where they could focus efforts for improvement. The reports are here. 

We were delighted with the reaction. We were especially pleased that our analysis was helping clinicians 'make the case' for changes to services. 

Dr Anna Lock, consultant in palliative care, helped guide the analysis. Here, she reflects on the work with Justine Wiltshire, lead analyst. Guided by Lucy Hawkins, they talk about the origins of the project, its use in spurring change, and what a good clinician-analyst relationship looks like.  

The Strategy Unit has done a lot of work on end of life care, and we want to do more. Our analysis can support improvements; we want to work with more people like Anna to help make this happen.