end-of-life care, palliative care, palliative care workforce, workforce planning



  1. Chiarella, Mary RN, RM, LLB (Hons), PhD
  2. Duffield, Christine RN, PhD


Policy development in palliative and end-of-life care has changed significantly since its origins as a "boutique" specialist area of hospice care in the 1960s and 1970s. International agencies have shifted the emphasis away from solely caring for cancer patients to a much broader definition of palliative care, which encompasses people with life-limiting illnesses who are not going to die immediately but still need to plan for death while undergoing life-prolonging treatment. This article explores the development of and demand for palliative and end-of life care in developed countries and the implications of this development for available workforce and future workforce planning. It argues that human resource planners in healthcare need to turn their attention to the growing demands of caring for the dying and the elderly and work closely with service planners to ensure that sufficient and qualified staff are available.