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Nurses to help end-of-life drive

Details of a multimillion pound strategy to give people greater choice about how they end their lives are to be revealed by the government.

The new measures are designed to offer better care and support for those who wish to die at home, with community nurses on call 24 hours a day to help with home-based care and better training for staff included in the 10-year strategy for England.
People will be allowed a greater say over where they die and will be encouraged to make their wishes known.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson told the BBC's Today programme: "The most important objective is to ensure that people's individual needs, their priorities, their preferences for end-of-life care are identified, they are documented, they are reviewed, they are respected and acted upon wherever possible.

He went on: "You go back to the beginning of the 20th century and people were familiar with death - many people died at home, they died of diseases at a young age.

"When the NHS came along... as a result people die in hospitals whether they want to or not, and sometimes there are issues about how they die in hospitals.

"But the big issue for us today is to give the choice to everyone."

He added that the government was putting £286m into the project over the next three years.

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NHS End of Life Strategy

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Do you agree with Alan Johnson? Should patients be allowed a greater say over where they dieYour comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Patients should have a choice for a preferred place of death - it's all about respecting their autonomny. End of life care is very important to both the patient and the family and it needs to be taken seriously. The patient's home is also a place where he/she has lived and is their most familiar environment. Therefore care should be taken to the patient wherever they live." - Mary Adams, Newham PCT