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Hospital Cancer Deaths Concern

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8:01am 6th April 2012

There is concern over the number of people from North Cornwall who die from cancer in hospital.

Official statistics from the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network show rates are amongst the highest in the country.

51% of people dying from cancer in the area die on a ward.

That is compared to 43% across England, 40% in the south west and 35% for the rest of Cornwall.

Dr Julia Verne headed up the research and says it shows more options for care are needed: "We're very keen to enable people to die in the place of their choice. When we undertake population surveys we find that most people would like to die at home if that were at all possible.

"The question is how much support is there locally in terms of access to hospices, access to care homes and support in order to enable people to spend their last days at home.

"We've been encouraging the local director of public health along with the director of social services to look at their local population to make sure that there are sufficient community services to enable people who want to die at home to do so".

Caroline Court, public health consultant at the Primary Care Trust, says, "We have beds in Stratton hospital which are specifically for people at the end of their lives but the data in this report doesn't differentiate between someone dying in a large general hospital and someone who has chosen to be cared for by their GP in their local hospital. We are continually trying to improve choices for people at the end of their lives and these figures are a useful focus for this work"

You can see the full report here

8:01am 6th April 2012

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