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Health Most nurses have seen deaths which proper funding could have prevented

NINE out of 10 nurses say they have seen dying patients stranded in hospital as a result of delays in funding that would have otherwise allowed them to be cared for at home or in the community.

And almost eight out of 10 nurses say they are worried about the effect of this year’s winter pressures on end-of-life care, a report published today by the Marie Curie cancer charity says.

Many nurses also raised concerns that patients are dying alone in hospitals and hospices because there are too few staff to spend time with them.

A surgical-ward staff nurse — one of at least 600 who responded to the survey — said: “It is difficult to provide a high level of care when you are trying to focus on so many things at once.

“It should be a privilege to nurse a person in their final days of life. Sometimes we might be the only people they have.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The government must step in and make sure that the NHS has the resources it needs to deliver appropriate end-of-life care.

“These heartbreaking failures affecting so many families just can’t be allowed to continue.”

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