‘Make funds fair’

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A HOSPICE boss has challenged the government to improve funding for a service that allows terminally ill patients to die in their own homes.

Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care (IRGH) says its nurses help 60 per cent of the 1,700 patients in their area to die in their own homes.

Nationwide, just 20 per cent of the terminally ill usually get that chance.

IRGH covers Bucks and large swathes of Herts – including Dacorum, St Albans and Harpenden.

Its bosses say that the IRGH service is cheaper than hospital care and a preference of patients – but that it only gets 10 per cent of total NHS funding.

Mark Lister, IRGH deputy chief executive, has now called for health secretary Andrew Lansley to make hospice funding fairer.

He said: “Funding should follow the patient, so if they want to stay in their own home, surrounded by their loved ones, they should be able to.”

Read more in this week’s Gazette, on sale now.