The End of Life Care Strategy

The End of Life Care Strategy

Although the subject of dying is often painful to contemplate and as a society we do not discuss death and dying openly, the way care professionals approach the process is incredibly important for the client, their family and carers. The Department of Health has published a Strategy for every organisation involved in providing end of life care. Each will be expected to adopt an overall coordination process, such as the Gold Standards Framework, whilst developing the best possible outcome for clients.

Those being cared for will have the opportunity to discuss their personal needs and preferences with professionals who will be supporting them. These will be recorded in a care plan so that every supporting service will be aware of the client’s wishes.

All health and social care staff must be trained in communication regarding end of life care and will be trained accordingly in assessing the needs of clients and carers.

The following guidance is helpful:

Gold Standards Framework (GSF)

This can be used in various settings, for example hospitals, primary care and care homes, to improve the co-ordination and communication between different organisations involved in providing care for someone near the end of their life.

Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP)

This is best practice guidance to medical staff on how to ensure quality of care in the last few hours/days of someone’s life. This can be used in hospitals, care homes, hospices or individuals own homes.

Preferred Priorities for Care (PPC)

This document is designed to help people prepare for the future and gives them an opportunity to think about, talk about and write down their preferences and priorities for care at the end of life.

Despite general reluctance to broach this sensitive area, it is worthwhile asking potential care providers their approach to end of life care and whether they are following national strategies for implementing best practice within their home.