Improvements to care in the last days and hours of life

Department of Health, August 2015

This report shows the progress organisations have made on specific commitments in the One Chance to Get it Right report, which set out actions to improve care in the last days and hours of life.

The update sets out progress made on:

•the new Care Quality Commission inspection regime for end of life care
•new NICE guidance
•actions to improve education, training and research
•professional regulation
•the implementation of the priorities for care

Click here for further information and to download the report.

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Care and communication between health professionals and patients affected by severe or chronic illness in community care settings: a qualitative study of care at the end of life

National Institute for Health Research, August 2015

Advance care planning (ACP) enables patients to consider, discuss and, if they wish, document their wishes and preferences for future care, including decisions to refuse treatment, in the event that they lose capacity to make decisions for themselves. This study aimed to investigate how patients, their relatives and health professionals initiate and experience discussion of ACP and the outcomes of advance discussions in shaping care at the end of life.

Click here to download the full text.

Triggers for palliative care: improving access to care for people with diseases other than cancer

Marie Curie, 23 June 2015

This report from the charity Marie Curie calls for healthcare professionals to receive further training and development in palliative care to ensure that everyone with a terminal illness gets the care and support that they need.  The report shows there is limited understanding of what palliative care can do, who it benefits and when to introduce it. It reveals that professionals do not receive enough training in the area and often miss the opportunity to consider whether there is a palliative care need.

Click here to view the report.

NHS must prioritise ‘a good death’ – Nursing solutions for palliative care

Royal College of Nursing, 23 June 2015

The RCN has called for greater focus on the care of dying people, as it responded to Triggers for Palliative Care, a new report by Marie Curie, and launched new RCN guidance to help nurses meet the needs of patients at the end of their lives. Almost half a million people die in the UK every year and the RCN is supporting Marie Curie’s call for better training for staff and an end to the barriers around the recognition that a patient needs palliative care.

Click here for further information.

Care After Death: Guidance for staff responsible for care after death (Second edition)

Hospice UK, May 2015

First published in 2011, the ‘Guidance for staff responsible for care after death’ showed that care after death is the first stage of a process which involves a range of professional groups and that coordinated working is vital if the process is to run smoothly. Endorsed by three royal colleges and other national organisations, the focus of the second edition has been extended to include recommendations relating to the training of staff and to addressing deaths in mental health services and prisons. Author: Jo Wilson on behalf of National Nurse Consultant Group (Palliative Care).

Click here to download the guidance.