End of Life Care

National and local strategies (current best practices)

  • An end of life care pathway has been described in the national strategy which identified a number of key steps:
    • Discussions as the end of life approaches
    • Assessment care planning and review
    • Coordination of care
    • Delivery of high quality services in different settings
    • Care in the last days of life
    • Care after death

Best practice tools and resources that are used to support the implementation of the Department of Health End of Life Care Pathway include:

  • Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Is a framework of multiple tools, tasks and resources that can be adapted within GP practices and community nursing teams and care homes to improve end of life care for patients with any end stage illness. 
  • Advanced Care Plans (ACP) Is a document that individuals hold and take with them which can be used to detail the individual’s thoughts about their care and the choices they would like to make.  Individuals can initiate the ACP at any time, enabling any care staff to read about what matters to the individual, thereby facilitating continuity of care. 
  • The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) This quality improvement framework for the delivery of appropriate care for dying patients in the final phase of life and their relatives, irrespective of the diagnosis or place of death.  It encourages a multi-professional approach to the delivery of care that focuses on the physical, psychological and spiritual comfort of patients and their relatives. Recent concerns about the way that this pathway has been implemented in some areas has led to review (Neuberger et al, 2013) and recommendation that the pathway is withdrawn and replaced by condition specific good practice guidance.

Last updated Wednesday, 1st November 2017