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Calls to improve palliative care

13th December 2005

A new report has condemned the lack of services outside hospitals, claiming it is denying people the right to die in the comfort of their own home.

According to a report from the NHS Confederation, which is the organisation that lobbies the government on behalf of NHS trusts, there is a need for an increase in home and community care provision.

This will allow those people who wish to die in their own home the chance to do so, by receiving the necessary end-of-life care at home rather than in a hospital.

The report suggests that there is a gap in the provision of this type of service, which is denying people the right to die at home.

Television star Esther Rantzen is currently making a programme for the BBC on the provision of home care for the elderly and she told BBC Radio Four's Today programme that there needs to be more priority given to people's wishes.

Eve Richardson, chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care, claimed that the government needs to pick up on the issues raised in the report in its forthcoming white paper on palliative care.

"Enabling people to die with dignity in a place of their choosing is the bedrock of our response to the government's consultation on out of hospital care," she added.