By Elizabeth Davies, Irene Higginson, Dame Cicely Saunders

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Set against the fact that more than half of those diagnosed with cancer will eventually die from their disease, this is a staggeringly small figure. 1. Policy-makers need to develop national strategies for palliative care research, and to expand investment in this area across all diseases. 2. Policy-makers should invest in developing national data sets for palliative care. 3. Those funding research should monitor the proportion of funds in any disease area directed towards palliative care, and invest in research to redress imbalances.

These might include morphine use, the proportion of non-cancer patients cared for, the proportion of patients who die in pain, and palliative support for patients in nursing homes. 18% of its total government and charitable funding for cancer research on end-of-life and palliative care. 9% of its cancer research budget on palliative care. 28 tice within the health services. There is a need for developmental funding of initiatives to educate professionals at different stages of their careers, to improve their skills in assessing needs and changing practice.

Improving palliative care for cancer. Washington, DC, National Academies Press, 2001. Implications for policy-makers and research funders Despite the importance of palliative care for everybody, it does not attract a very high proportion of research funding. 5% of funding is used on research into palliative care. Set against the fact that more than half of those diagnosed with cancer will eventually die from their disease, this is a staggeringly small figure. 1. Policy-makers need to develop national strategies for palliative care research, and to expand investment in this area across all diseases.

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