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End of life care

Our position

Background

The report, More care, less pathway, was produced by Baroness Julia Neuberger and other experts in July 2013. It explored how care is provided for the dying and focused on the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient as a care plan.

The panel looked at a range of issues including the role and use of end of life care plans and the need for a system-wide approach to end of life care. It covered terminology, diagnosis, decision-making, communication, consent, training, hydration and nutrition.

The report made 44 recommendations. Six of these recommendations directly related to our work. There were also some more general recommendations relevant to us and similar organisations.

The Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People ('the Alliance') made up of 21 organisations, including regulators, professional representative bodies and healthcare charities, was created to address these recommendations and improve end of life care.

Our position on end of life care

We are committed to making sure that the five priorities of care for dying people developed by the Alliance are embedded into the values and behaviours of nurses who care for people in their final days.

We supported the publication by the Alliance of One chance to get it right (2014), which sets out the organisational approaches to be adopted in caring for dying people, and Priorities of care for the dying person (2014), which sets out the duties and responsibilities of health and care staff in caring for the dying. We aim to ensure that our standards reflect the document’s principles on end of life care provided by nurses. We also support the development and implementation of any further guidance on end of life care and related topics produced by other Alliance members.

The Code is the foundation of good nursing and midwifery practice and our key tool in protecting the public. We ensured that the five priorities of care for dying people were reflected in our revised Code. The priorities will also be reflected in other relevant underpinning standards and guidance that we develop.

Where appropriate, we will also make sure that these priorities are reflected in:

  • our pre-registration education standards
  • our fitness to practise proceedings.

In addition, in April 2014 we published our standards for competence for nurses and midwives as stand-alone documents. This will make it easier for the public to understand what standards they can expect from nurses providing end of life care.

Links to reports

Read One Chance to Get it Right: how health and care organisations should care for people in the last days of their life

Read Priorities of care for the dying person - Duties and responsibilites of health and care staff.