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Specialist palliative care services enable people to die at home

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Specialist palliative care services are helping more people to die at home, a new report from the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) and PHE said.

The report, called the National Survey of Patient Activity Data for Specialist Palliative Care Services, showed that nearly half the people receiving specialist palliative care in the community (46.2 per cent) died in their own home, compared with just over one in five (21.8 per cent) nationally. It also found that 45 per cent of people referred to a specialist palliative care inpatient service are discharged. Of these, 85 per cent were discharged to their home, which the report says dispels the myth that people go into a hospice to die.

Only 66 per cent of specialist palliative care providers responded to the survey, with response rates varying across the country. These ranged from 89 per cent in Cheshire and the Mersey to 33 per cent in Northern England. The report noted that it was difficult to obtain data on the ethnicity of people being seen by specialist palliative care services.

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