‘It’s more than rainbows in reception’: Brand new educational resource developed to ensure the needs of LGBTQ+ people at end of life are met

A new educational resource for healthcare professionals has been launched with the objective of removing the barriers faced by LGBTQ+ people in accessing palliative and end of life care.

Funded by the end of life charity, Marie Curie, and developed by The Mary Stevens Hospice, It’s more than rainbows in reception’ – Working with LGBTQ+ people in palliative and end of life care aims to equip any individual working in healthcare, whether it’s at a leadership level or providing hands-on care, as well as those who commission services, with the right information to address the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.

A co-production team which consisted of LGBTQ+ people and allies, many with lived experience of bias or prejudice when facing ill health, came together to help positively inform palliative and end of life care, education, policy, and practice.

Gemma Allen, No Barriers Here Co-Founder and Programme Lead at The Mary Stevens Hospice, said:

“This educational is an essential piece of work that can help to transform the lived experience of LGBTQ+ people living with any terminal illness or at the end of life. We are grateful to Marie Curie for funding the project, and grateful to all of those LGBTQ+ people and allies who shared their experiences so candidly, so that we could create the best possible guide. The aim of this is to ensure that people receive the best palliative and end of life care, and I hope it does that.”

Sam Royston, Executive Director of Policy and Research at the UK’s leading end of life charity, Marie Curie, said:

“Previous research from Marie Curie has shown that many LGBTQ+ people can avoid palliative care, or hide their sexuality when accessing services, out of fear of discrimination or bias. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how you identify, everyone should have the right to good end of life care, and to have the best possible death. Marie Curie is dedicated to ensuring that anyone, whoever they are, has the best possible end of life experience.”

This project was funded by the Marie Curie Research Impact Fund. For more information please visit: www.nobarriershere.org


For media enquiries please contact: Emma Ballard, Senior Media and PR Officer,  emma.ballard@mariecurie.org.uk / 07771850926 or Marie Curie Press office on 0845 073 8699/ media@mariecurie.org.uk.

Please note, Marie Curie is not a cancer charity but the UK’s leading ‘end of life charity.’

We care for people with – any illness they are likely to die from including Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia), heart, liver, kidney and lung disease, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s, and advanced cancer.

About Marie Curie

• Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity.

• The charity provides expert end of life care for people with any illness they are likely to die from, and support for their family and friends, in our hospices and where they live.  It is the largest charity funder of palliative and end of life care research in the UK, and campaigns to ensure everyone has a good end of life experience. Whatever the illness, we’re with you to the end.

• If you’re living with a terminal illness or have been affected by dying, death and bereavement, Marie Curie can help. Visit www.mariecurie.org.uk or call the free Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309.

Whatever the illness, wherever you are, Marie Curie is with you to the end.


This project was funded by the Marie Curie Research Impact Fund.

If you wish to cite this resource booklet, please use the following citation: Jerwood, J., Allen, G., Juffs, H., Humphries-Massey, C., Wakefield, D., Hudson, S., Baron, L., Burgess, S., Kane, E., Simpson, K., Maxwell, P. and Brown, C. (2024) ‘It’s more than rainbows in receptions’ – Working with LGBTQ+ People in Palliative and End-of-life Care. Stourbridge: The Mary Stevens Hospice. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20525.9136