The Economist Intelligence Unit have released the results of the “Quality of Death” survey and Ireland has come in fourth.

Countries were rated according to the quality of care for those at the end of their life. Ireland was ranked number four ahead of the United States, Norway, Luxembourg and Canada.

Its overall score was 6.8 out of 10. It fell to 17th place when it came to quality of the healthcare environment.

The United Kingdom was at the top of the poll while Australia and New Zealand came in second and third.

Paul Murray, from the Irish Hospice Foundation said “We are very pleased that Ireland got such a good index marking. However, a lot still needs to be done in hospice care, palliative care and end-of-life care in Ireland.”

The results of this survey came as quite a surprise to the Irish Hospice Foundation as a recent audit of their services found them to have several serious lapses in their standards. It included serious discrepancies in the quality of treatment at different hospitals, and it also uncovered horrific personal accounts from relatives of dying loved ones.