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Palliative pilot meets home care needs

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

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

The scheme’s interventions include rapid response teams to provide crisis and planned home care, discharge community liaison nurses and a coordination 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 Cancer Care, said that the results have ‘massive significance’ for cancer patients in the UK.

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

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