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Dignity in Dying statement on the Government’s new Health Bill

Today the Government published a new Health Bill which aims to improve the quality of NHS care, the performance of NHS services, and to improve public health. The Bill facilitates ways to give patients greater control over the services they receive by enabling pilots of direct payment schemes for healthcare, within the wider programme to pilot personal health budgets.

Commenting on the direct payment scheme Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:

“Dignity in Dying welcomes the introduction of personal health budgets.

“More needs to be done to put the patients at the heart of the decision-making process at the end of life. In a poll commissioned by Dignity in Dying in May last year, 86% of respondents supported giving terminally ill people greater choice over their care at the time of death. The direct payments scheme is an important step forward as it will put patients at the centre of decisions about their health care and treatment, giving them more choice and control.

“This scheme will be piloted. We hope that at least one of the pilots makes provision for direct payments at the end of life and we look forward to reviewing the results of the pilots in due course.”

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Notes to editor:

About Dignity in Dying:

  • Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.
  • Dignity in Dying has over 100,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.
  • ICM interviewed a random sample of 1002 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 21st – 22nd May 2008. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/

Media Contacts:

For all media enquiries please contact Jo Cartwright on 020 7479 7737, 07725433025 or at jo.cartwright@dignityindying.org.uk