The key findings of the equality impact analysis process was that protected characteristics groups including people with disabilities, LGBTI and minority ethnic groups all face additional barriers to accessing palliative and end of life care which meets their needs. To a degree the elderly and young people also do not receive appropriate care for their needs, and for all patients their spiritual needs at the end of life may not be met completely. For women in pregnancy and maternity there are specialist services to care for their unborn and new born babies with palliative care needs but limited UK research on the needs of the very few mothers who have life limiting diseases in pregnancy and maternity. There is a need for more data on all the protected characteristics groups and their use of and need for palliative care.
The 10 commitments for implementation of the SFA to meet the 2012 vision will contribute to better care for people of protected characteristics groups, however, key to this will be capturing data on the use of palliative care by protected characteristic.
The Scottish Government recognises there is a need to improve data collection and has made two specific commitments. First, to ensure that improvements are made to the way information related to palliative and end of life care is collected, recorded and shared. Second, to ensure that assembled data and evidence is effectively used to inform learning, promote improvement and the spread of high quality care.