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Major palliative care initiative launched

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A new £1m programme to improve facilities to care for patients at the end of life has been launched by the King's Fund and Department of Health.

Nurse-led teams in 19 NHS trusts and one prison will look at how to improve the environment for dying patients, their relatives and the frontline staff who care for them.

The 20 new projects will include increasing palliative care beds, and making improvements to facilities for families and visitors including dedicated bereavement suites and refurbished mortuary viewing facilities.

The programme comes ahead of the government's end of life care strategy due to be published in July along side the Darzi review of the NHS.

Launching the programme care services minister Ivan Lewis said: 'We know that most deaths (58 per cent) occur in NHS hospitals, which is why it is important that we make these environments as pleasant as possible for patients and their families.'

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