Hospices in the UK must meet the challenge of an ageing Muslim population by overcoming barriers that deter Britain's largest faith minority from using their services, ensuring that language, cultural and religious needs are met.

The UK hospice network should see a significant increase in Muslim patients in coming years as a result of rising numbers of elderly Muslims combined with changes to traditional family structures, a new report says.

But only a handful of more than 200 adult and children's hospices in the UK have Muslim patients, reflecting "a perception that hospices aren't really for us", said Sughra Ahmed, programmes manager in the centre for policy and public education at the Woolf Institute. The institute produced the report on behalf of Hospice UK and Together for Short Lives, a charity for children with life-limiting conditions.

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