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Controversy over the biggest NHS privatisation deal so far has intensified after details were leaked. £1.2 billion worth of cancer and end-of-life services in Staffordshire may be handed to a private firm to manage.
Western culture often prides itself on its openness. Yet death remains a taboo subject for many, or at least one that is skirted around rather prosaically in many situations.
Facing up to death and investing in the choices it involves is at the heart of a new multi-million pound government strategy in England to support people as they come to the end of their lives.