Background: This literature review explores service provision for dying people in the wider context of changes in the modern hospice movement, recent government reforms and, in particular, the role of nursing in influencing and improving service delivery. These government reforms are reviewed in the context of the care of the dying. The article then examines the place of death in modern society, and health professionals' views. The concept of the 'good death' is also explored and the satisfaction of patients, carers and health professionals discussed in relation to terminal care in the community.
Conclusion: Nursing makes a valuable contribution to the care of dying patients and nurses must take the opportunities presented to them by forthcoming healthcare changes to become proactive in representing those they care for.