Hospital Dr News

Palliative care review announced

The funding of palliative care is to be reviewed, the government has announced.

The review, chaired by Tom Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, will seek to improve how money is spent supporting people who are approaching death. It will enable patients to choose how and from whom they receive their end of life care.

The review will make recommendations for a funding system that will cover care provided by the NHS, a hospice or any appropriate provider which encourages more community-based care.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “The government is committed to more personalised care for people at the end of life. Just last month we made this clear through confirming that £40m will be invested to help hospices improve the environments where they provide care and support for patients, their families and carers.

“I am delighted that we are today taking the first step two honouring our commitment to introducing a new per-patient funding system for all hospices and providers of palliative care.”

At present about 57% of deaths occur in hospital, 19% at home and 17% in care homes and 5% in hospices. Surveys of the public have shown that most people would prefer to die at home.

The review will cover both adults’ and children’s services and will report by summer 2011.

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