It is important to respect the wishes of terminally ill people, and enable them to come to the end of their lives in their own home where possible. The Government is making every effort to help people die at home if they want to do so.
Marie Curie offers incredible care and support for people at the end of their lives. You may be interested to know that, according to Public Health England, the numbers of people dying at home increased by 5 per cent between 2004 and 2016, while those dying in hospitals decreased by 11 per cent. I believe this suggests more people are choosing to die at home, which not only offers peace and comfort to people at the end of their lives, but crucially frees up space in hospitals for other treatment.
It is important to remember that practical concerns often affect whether it is possible for somebody to die at home. Sometimes people require palliative care which is just not possible in their homes; doctors, nurses and groups like Marie Curie will work with patients to make sure they receive the most appropriate care at the end of their lives.
The NHS is developing an invaluable end of life care plan, led by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS’s medical director. This plan aims to end the variation in quality of palliative care in England, and this applies to all end of life care, whether it is delivered in a hospital, a hospice, or a person’s home.
I appreciate there is more to be done, but I hope this is reassuring.