Primary care trusts should provide more counselling for people with terminal illnesses, a leading charitable trust has urged in a report.
The research by the King's Fund, which lobbies on health policy and distributes around £2 million a year to health-related projects, shows that access to emotional support is limited and often left to voluntary groups.
Primary care trusts should fund voluntary and community groups to help patients come to terms with death, it argued in Psychosocial support for dying people.
The charity invited 400 chief executives from primary care trusts and charities involved in palliative care to a meeting in the hope of kick starting several pilot projects.
"We want the Department of Health to take the pressure off local providers, which are under the cudgel of waiting lists. And we are beginning to see a shift in government thinking on this,
said a spokesman.