A new funding system for end-of-life care would save millions of pounds and focus on individual patient needs, according to a government-ordered review.
A national payment structure would cut variation around the country in what the state pays for and what it does not, and support far more people to be cared for in their own homes.
At the moment, the amount PCTs in England spend on end-of-life care varies widely, from £186 per patient in one area to £6,213 in another.
Far more people die in hospital than wish to, and experts estimate that more than 90,000 people are not having their palliative care needs met.
The Palliative Care Funding Review proposes a “fair and transparent” funding system where the money is linked to the individual patient.
Under the scheme, people would receive an initial assessment of their needs, which would then be combined with other factors such as their age and capabilities.
This “needs classification system” would have 25 separate classes (13 for adults and 12 for children), each with its own pot of funding.
The funding would take account of things such as personal care needs, including help with washing and eating, the provision of 24/7 nursing care to support people at home and a co-ordinator to help patients work out their state entitlements as well as access to local charitable services.
Copyright © Press Association 2011