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In total agreement that end of life care should be optimized in all settings, as a former specialty doctor in palliative care I am questioning whether the ongoing existence of hospices is an obstacle to this happening. As Dr Murray comments 'hospice care has been greatly prioritised' with seemingly limitless resources, largely supported by perhaps a misled public. Meanwhile most end of life care occurs in care homes, hospitals and at home.
The challenge is to support care in these other settings. Palliative care is simply good care and the most important element being well supported, motivated carer or staff to patient ratio. Specialists in symptom management could be hospital based supporting colleagues there and in the community. I am concerned that whilst hospices continue, resources will not be channelled appropriately to the main settings of end of life care.
No competing interests
04 November 2015
Anthony J Waite
Lairg Medical Practice, Main Street, Lairg, Sutherland, IV27 4DD