Questionnaire to let NHS know about end of life care

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THINKING about where you want to die may not be the most cheerful subject.

But doctors in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire are asking you to do just that so they can make sure that the right services are in place for patients when they need them most.

Recent national surveys show that between 56 to 75 per cent of us would prefer to die at home. But in 2007 in this area only around a quarter of deaths occurred at home.

Now the NHS wants residents to take part in its own survey to help shape services in the future.

Local GP Dr Koyih Tan said: ‘Knowing that you can get the right support and being able to choose where you die are really important to patients and their carers. Although most of us don’t like to talk about it we know this is a subject that people have very strong views about, for themselves and their loved ones.

‘Our aim is to make sure that, when the time comes, patients are able to choose where they want to die with the right services and support available to ensure comfort and dignity.’

The NHS said its priorities include better care planning to make sure that patients’ wishes are clearly understood and working with the ambulance service and GPs to ensure patients are only admitted to hospital if appropriate care can’t be offered at home.

To take part in the questionnaire go to hampshire.nhs.uk or to have it sent to your address call (023) 8062 7461.

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