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I issued the following press release on 17.11.04

MP on ‘care for the dying’ fact-finding mission

Immediate release

Date of issue: November 17

Care for the dying in Birmingham is being put under the spotlight by local MP, Lynne Jones.

She has signed the recent Commons Early Day Motion in support of Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Supporting the Choice to Die at Home campaign.

Now the MP has written to Birmingham’s four Primary Care Trusts to find out more about the services and choices available locally to people who are terminally ill and their families.

In her fact-finding letters, Lynne Jones asks for details of:

·         Services currently in place to support the care of the terminally ill

·         How services facilitate choice of place of death now, as well as plans for the future

·         The number of terminally ill patients cared for over the past year, where they died and details of organisations who supported their care

She said recent research by Marie Curie Cancer Care showed that most people in the UK would want to be cared for at home if they were terminally ill, with a significant minority opting for hospice care.

Nationally, however, more than half of all cancer patients currently die in hospital, which is generally the place where they would least like to be.

In addition, the charity claims that for every £1 spent on providing care for the dying in the community, around £2 is freed up back in hospitals.

Lynne Jones said: “The issue of choice around place of death and the provision of palliative care services to all those who need it – irrespective of diagnosis – is one of the major challenges which faces us in healthcare today.”



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