Page last updated at 07:19 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 08:19 UK

Deal to allow more to die at home

Carer holding hands
The service will offer more end of life care options

NHS Lanarkshire and Marie Curie Cancer care have signed a 1m contract to allow more terminally ill patients to die in their own homes.

The charity said it was the biggest deal in its history and would provide 15,000 extra hours of nursing care.

Marie Curie nurses work across the UK looking after people who want to spend their final days at home.

The nursing service will offer end of life care to patients with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

NHS Lanarkshire and Marie Curie Cancer Care have each committed 544,000 to the agreement.

We work closely with all our partners to constantly ensure that our end of life care is evolving and expanding
Maggie White
Marie Curie Cancer Care

The charity said this would mean the number of patients being cared for at home in Lanarkshire would increase from 308 to 510 during the next year.

The extra provision will be carried out by 75 nursing staff working closely with GPs and district nurses.

Maggie White, Marie Curie Cancer Care caring services manager for Scotland, said she was delighted by the deal.

She said: "We work closely with all our partners to constantly ensure that our end of life care is evolving and expanding.

"By working together we want to ensure that everyone in Scotland has equal and easy access to the end of life care services that Marie Curie and our partners offer."

Preferred location

Frances Leckie, an associate director of nursing with at NHS Lanarkshire, said the contract demonstrated the good working relationship between the charity and the health board.

She said: "We are seeing a shift of care from hospitals to the community.

"By working together and looking at new ways of providing services, we will achieve more flexible, timely palliative care delivered in the patient's preferred location."

Earlier this year, Marie Curie called for extra funding for end of life care after a UK-wide YouGov survey suggested more than 70% of people would feel happiest dying at home.

In practice three-times more people come to the end of their lives in hospital than at home.


SEE ALSO
Lanarkshire gets Maggie's Centre
03 Apr 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Charity calls for 'home deaths'
15 Jun 05 |  Scotland

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