Economic Analysis Shows Value of Volunteering in Palliative Care Day Services

W.George Kernohan, Paul Mitchell, Joanna Coast, Gareth Myring, Federico Ricciardi, Victoria Vickerstaff, Louise Jones, Shazia Zafar, Sarah Cudmore, Joanne Elizabeth Jordan, Laurie McKibben, Lisa Graham-Wisener, Anne Finucane, Alistair Hewison, Erna Haraldsdottir, Kevin Brazil, Felicity Hasson, Sonja J McIlfatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

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Background: Despite the growth of Day Services in recent years, evidence of their costs and effects is scarce. It is important to establish the value of such services so that health and care decision- makers can make evidence-based resource alloca- tion decisions. Day Service offers supportive care to people with advanced progressive illness who may be approaching the end of life, who are able to remain living in their own home. Interested members of the public are often involved in assist- ing with transport and nonclinical aspects of ser- vice delivery
Aim: To establish the costs of Day Services with different service configurations in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Methods: Newly referred attendees to Day Services were recruited into a pragmatic before- and-after descriptive cohort study. Data on costs were collected on health and care use in the 4 weeks preceding attendance using adapted ver- sions of the Client Service Receipt Inventory. Outcomes, cost per attendee/day, and volunteer contribution were also estimated.
Results: Thirty-eight participants were recruited and provided detailed follow-up data at both base- line and 4 weeks. The cost per attendee/day ranged from £121 to £190 (excluding volunteer contri- bution) to £172 to £264 (including volunteer contribution) across the 3 sites. Volunteering con- stituted between 28% and 38% of the total costs.
Conclusions: This study highlights the large contribution made by volunteers in Day Services provision and so demonstrates the value of involv- ing the public in palliative care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-26
Number of pages2
JournalPalliative Care and Social Practice
Early online date19 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Apr 2021
EventPublic Health Research in Palliative Care: Towards Solutions for Global Challenges - online, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 17 Nov 202018 Nov 2020


  • Volunteer
  • day services
  • costs
  • health economics


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