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Nurse-led project allows more cancer patients to die at home

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The number of terminally ill people able to die at home has more than doubled under a new nurse-led palliative care scheme piloted by a cancer charity.

The Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme, piloted in Boston, Lincolnshire, has seen the number of patients dying at home increase from 17% to 42% since the scheme was implemented in 2004.

Delivering Choice interventions include rapid response teams to provide crisis and planned home care, discharge community liaison nurses and a co-ordination centre to arrange packages of home care for palliative patients.

According to Marie Curie Cancer Care, about 64% of terminally ill patients want to die at home, but only 25% actually do.

Tom Hughes-Hallett, chief executive at Marie Curie, said: ‘These results have massive significance in the UK at a time when end of life care is pushing up the healthcare agenda.’

Two more programmes are planned for next year, and if the scheme continues to be successful Marie Curie hope to roll it out across the whole of the UK.

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