Patients, family members and carers


End of life care

Information for patients, family members and carers

Receiving the news that you or someone you love and care for has a life limiting illness can be a lot to take in.

The care a person needs at this time is focused on supporting them to have the best possible quality of life, independence and control over their care. End of life care is about focusing on the needs of the whole person as well as their family and/or carers. It’s not just about treating or managing pain, it can also include:

  • emotional, social and/or spiritual support
  • help dealing with the practical effects of facing an end of life situation
  • care in bereavement for family members and/or carers

Who’s involved?

Many healthcare professionals can be involved in end of life care, depending on your and your family/carer’s individual needs. For example:

  • Hospital doctors and nurses
  • Your GP
  • Community nurses
  • Hospice staff and counsellors
  • Social services
  • Religious ministers
  • Physiotherapists or complementary therapists.

Most hospitals have special palliative care teams who co-ordinate all these services. As a patient, you have the right to choose where you want to receive care and where you want to die. The palliative care teams can provide end of life care to you and your family/carers at home or in hospitals, care homes and hospices.


Helpful websites

For more information about end of life care, visit the following websites:

Dying matters    >

Dying Matters is a coalition which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.

Click here to visit the website.

Cruse Bereavement Care    >

Cruse Bereavement Care’s mission is to offer support, advice and information when someone dies, and to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.

Click here to visit the website.

Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment    >

Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment are committed to helping people face the most difficult decision of their life with all the tools and information they might require.

Click here to visit the website.

The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC)    >

The NCPC is involved in palliative, end of life and hospice care. They work with government, health/social care staff and people with experience to improve end of life care for all.

Click here to visit the website.

NHS Choices    >

NHS Choices provide general information for the public. The link below will take you their information about end of life care.

Click here to visit the website.

Dementia UK    >

Dementia UK offers specialist one-to-one support and expert advice for people living with dementia.

Click here to visit the website.