Hospital as a preferred place of death

Although it is important to realise patients’ and families’ preference for place of death, and to support patients to die at home if this is what they want, hospital can be a good - or at least a ‘good enough’ - place of death and patients and carers can have positive experiences of end of life care on hospital wards.

The study findings suggest that most carers did not consider hospital to be an inappropriate place for their relative to die.

Some families who initially expressed a preference for a home death changed their minds as death became more imminent.

Many dying patients express a very strong desire not to impose a burden on their families.

Regardless of people’s preferences, as the population continues to age, the hospital will continue to be the place where most people die for the foreseeable future. Consequently, it is important that hospitals adapt to provide excellent end of life care to all dying patients, including those who have dementia.

Select each character below to hear some opinions on hospital as a place of death:

Consultant, Fir Ward


Focus Group, Palliative Care Team


Staff Nurse, Fir Ward


Staff Nurse, Ash Ward


Deputy Ward Manager, Fir Ward


Consultant, Oak Ward

Audio transcript

Why might patients and families opt for death in hospital rather than home?


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