The number of young people needing end-of-life hospice care has increased according to Prospect Hospice.

According to Jeremy Lune, Prospect Hospice CEO, potentially deadly health problems were left undiagnosed during the coronavirus pandemic due to hospitals being less accessible.

This has now led to cancers which might otherwise have been caught early leading young people to need end-of-life hospice care.

Jeremy said: “One reality is sadly that we're seeing younger patients now, as a lot of hospices are.

“We think that the backlog in things like cancer diagnosis, where early diagnosis can mean a much higher chance of cure, didn't happen because people could not get in the hospitals. 

“So, we're getting younger people, and you know, we're pretty confident that's why that's happening.”

Cancer Research UK have reported that people with signs and symptoms of cancer stayed home and didn’t visit their GP due to the pandemic.

Analysis by the charity states: “Around 27,500 fewer people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020 compared to previous years. 

“That reduction was spread across almost all cancer sites, with drops driven by pauses in screening programmes, worry about COVID-19 and messages to stay home, as well as increased pressure on cancer services.”

Meanwhile, Prospect Hospice is struggling with funding issues, with soaring energy bills, and flat funding contributions.

The ideal number of beds to serve the community would be 12, but currently they can only afford to open six, with that number costing three million a year.

Prospect Hospice offers a wide range of services to people, including financial advice, bereavement support, a family support team and a therapy team.

Despite the gloomy reputation of a hospice, Jeremy said: “It's a really happy place for me, because it's about life, it's about love and humanity and compassion and community.

“It's about the celebration of the individual, because everyone's different. 

So we have people here who are big, loud, noisy families, people who are very quiet, introspective people, and everything in between.”

They try to keep people’s dignity by giving them as much freedom for as long as possible. 

A nurse added: “We all want to be our true authentic self. It's important to die in the way that we want to die, as we're all such unique individuals. 

“So that's all about what we do here at the hospital, about maintaining that and supporting that right until the end.”