New guidelines for end of life care welcomed

Posted: December 16 2015

The Trust welcomes new guidelines which aim to put the dying person at the heart of decisions about their care.

New guidelines for end of life care welcomed

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) provides a wide range of adult and children’s services including community nurses, who work with specialists in palliative and end of life care, to support and look after people who are in their final days. There are over 9,000 deaths in Hertfordshire every year and the majority of these are not unexpected.

HCT’s Associate Medical Director, Dr Carol Scholes, is also a Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Medicine and is passionate about ensuring everyone who is approaching the end of their life can have a real say in how and where they want to die, including treatment and medication they receive. She said: “I welcome the emphasis on a more personalised approach to care in the last few days of life, which fits very well with our approach to all care provided by HCT.

 “We have already started staff training in end of life care to ensure all our staff recognise when someone is coming to the end of their life. We are supporting staff to feel confident to discuss it with patients and their family and give individualised care at such an important time in a person's life."

 Until recently, the NHS used the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) to provide good end of life care across the UK. It was withdrawn however, following widespread criticism and a subsequent government review that found failings in several areas.

As a result, NICE -the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - was asked to develop evidence-based guidelines on care of the dying adult. The new guideline aims to tackle these and other issues by providing recommendations for the care of a person who is nearing death no matter where they are.

NICE gives national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. It develops guidance, standards and information on high quality health and social care.

To read the new guidelines click here.

If you are a journalist or media representative requiring further information contact our communications team on (01707) 388148 or via communications@hct.nhs.uk