Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Legal duty to provide specialist palliative care

Legal right to palliative care wouldn’t be needed if the hospice movement didn’t operate outside the NHS

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 16 June 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1422
  1. Sam H Ahmedzai, emeritus professor
  1. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  1. s.ahmedzai{at}

Oliver writes in The BMJ1 about the UK government’s amendment to the Health and Care Act,2 which declares, for the first time incredibly, a duty for the NHS to ensure that anyone, anywhere in England can receive specialist palliative care. I say “incredibly” because based on the UK’s number one rating in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global ranking for palliative care,3 most would have assumed this was already the case. All due respect for this …

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