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March 2010 Br J Cardiol 2010;17:73–5

State financial assistance for terminally ill patients: the discrepancy between cancer and heart failure

Rumina Önaç, Nigel C Fraser, Miriam J Johnson

Abstract

We reviewed the use of DS1500 applications for state financial benefits for patients dying from cancer (n=54) and heart failure (n=24) in one primary care practice. There was a marked inequality in favour of those with cancer, both in terms of DS1500 application form usage (cancer 33% versus heart failure 0%), but also access to palliative care service referrals (cancer 54% versus heart failure 8%) and discussion in Gold Standards Framework practice meetings (cancer 61% versus heart failure 4%). There should be equal provision of a ‘gold standard’ of care for patients with terminal disease irrespective of aetiology. Background High-qualit

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