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

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.