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Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of people who die alone. (202204)

Over 500,000 people die each year in England. Approximately 55 per cent. of these deaths occur in hospital, around 20 per cent. at home, around 20 per cent. in care homes and around 4 per cent. in hospices. However, it is not known how many of these people die alone.

The Department is committed to improving people’s care and choice at the end of life. Through the End of Life Care Programme, we have invested £12 million to support the rollout of end of life care tools such as the Gold Standards Framework, the Liverpool Care Pathway and the Preferred Place of Care. This summer, we will publish England’s first End of Life Care Strategy. This comprehensive strategy will help deliver increased choice to all adult patients regardless of their condition about where they live and die.