Care for people in the last year of life in Cologne

A CoRe-Net Health Care Report

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Versorgung von Menschen im letzten Lebensjahr in Köln

CoRe-Net: Cologne Research and Development Network

July 2021

Katja Blaschke, Ingo Meyer, Julia Strupp, Alina Kasdorf, Raymond Voltz

Representatives of the German Caritas Association, the University Hospital Cologne, the gesundheitsladen köln e.V., the City of Cologne, the Federal Centre for Health Education and the Health Region KölnBonn e.V.

Franziska Weber

Simon/Köln Panorama; Source: Adobe Stock (ex. Fotolia)

TAKEPART Media + Science GmbH


Blaschke, K., Meyer, I., Strupp, J., Kasdorf, A. & Voltz, R. (2021). Versorgung von Menschen im letzten Lebensjahr in Köln – Ein CoRe-Net Versorgungsbericht. CoRe-Net: Kölner Kompetenznetzwerk aus Praxis und Forschung. (german language)

The end of life is very individual for each person. It is associated with personal wishes, expectations, hopes, worries and fears. Nevertheless, the question of the circumstances of dying touches the whole of society in equal measure. Especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the subject of dying is very present in the media and in social discourse. The end of life is determined by many questions: It is about the right time to talk about dying, about all aspects of quality of life and about the place of death. The support of relatives is another important topic in the last phase of a person’s life. In addition, there are specific challenges for the health care actors involved in hospitals, medical practices, nursing facilities, outpatient care teams, etc. In this context, the question of the individual and “appropriate” care of the dying person is central.

The first CoRe-Net Health Care Report presents an overview of the medical and nursing care situation of Cologne residents in the last year of life. The aim of the report is to offer insights from a scientific perspective, through which the care of Cologne citizens in the last phase of life can be further improved.

This report refers to study results, parts of which have already been published in scientific journals under Voltz, Dust et al [1] and Kasdorf et al [2].

First and foremost, the report addresses those who are responsible for the care of people:

– to stakeholders from hospitals,
– care facilities,
– outpatient hospice and care services,
– medical practitioners and care services.

With this report, we would also like to address health insurance companies, associations and municipal stakeholders. Last but not least, patients, their relatives, volunteers and associations such as self-help groups are also addressed. They should all find relevant information in this report.

1. Voltz, R., Dust, G, et al. (2020). Improving regional care in the last year of life by setting up a pragmatic evidence-based Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle: results from a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open, 10(11): p. e035988.

2. Kasdorf, A., et al. (2021). What are the risk factors for avoidable transitions in the last year of life? A qualitative exploration of professionals’ perspectives for improving care in Germany. BMC Health Serv Res, 21(1): p. 147.