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UK: Patients at end of life face a postcode lottery doctors warn

by Andrew Gregory, Daily Mirror, 14 January 2016

Ensuring everyone has access to high-quality palliative care when they need it is not easy, but it is essential. We can, and should, always strive to do better.

A review of end of life care services in the United Kingdom (conducted by the British Medical Association and social research agency TNS BRMB) found that while there were “pockets of excellence”, there are significant differences between areas and between people dying of different conditions.

Dr Ian Wilson, BMA representative body chair, said: “The UK has led the world in developing comprehensive and holistic care for people whose lives are coming to an end.

“Yet this new research provides further evidence that the provision of end of life care remains variable, dependent on a patient’s geographical location, their condition, and their knowledge of local services.

“One member of the public who had recently suffered a bereavement described the quality of end of life care as a postcode lottery – a sentiment shared by the public and doctors alike. This is completely unacceptable.

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