Palliative care

The system of palliative care for the dying in England is not consistent or fair, says an independent review.

The inquiry, commissioned last year by the government, has pointed to "stunning inequities" citing figures from the Department of Health which show one primary care trust spent £186 per death while another spent £6,213.

Just over 355,000 require palliative care each year but the report estimates that only 171,000 receive the care they need.

To help the system deal with the increasing amount of people living longer the report suggests a set of universal standards the state guarantees to provide and a new payment system which will help more people die at home rather than in hospital.

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