This site is intended for health professionals only

Patients “can pass away where they wish”

19 October 2010

Share this article

New government plans have revealed that people across the country will be given a “choice offer” so they can die where they wish.

Thousands more people will be able to pass away at home – if they wish – with proper support in place to ensure that their “choice” is carried out.

The plans are part of a new consultation on increasing patient choice in the NHS, and the government has admitted that there is still a “long way to go” before everyone is given a choice of where they want to die.

A review of the new plans will be held in 2013.

A vast majority of people would rather die at home, surrounded by close friends and family, rather than spend their last few days in hospital.

The plans are an extension of those commitments made by the previous Labour government. However, the document does state that there may be some situations where people will not be allowed to die at home. Those patients who need specialist nursing care or hospital equipment are among those select few.

The document added: “There will also be cases where the level of social care support required, including any support needed by carers, may mean that some choices will not be possible.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said of the new stance by the government: “By giving people real choice over their care, we can build a patient-centred NHS that achieves outcomes for patients that are among the best in the world.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Department of Health