News story

PHE commits to new priorities for care of the dying

Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People report published today.

Care of the elderly

A report, published today by the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People, sets out a new approach to care of the dying in England based on the needs and wishes of the person and those close to them.

It takes the form of 5 new Priorities for Care which replace the Liverpool Care Pathway as the new basis for caring for someone at the end of their life.

These are:

When it is thought that a person may die within the next few days or hours …

  1. This possibility is recognised and communicated clearly, decisions made and actions taken in accordance with the person’s needs and wishes, and these are regularly reviewed and decisions revised accordingly.

  2. Sensitive communication takes place between staff and the dying person, and those identified as important to them.

  3. The dying person, and those identified as important to them, are involved in decisions about treatment and care to the extent that the dying person wants.

  4. The needs of families and others identified as important to the dying person are actively explored, respected and met as far as possible.

  5. An individual plan of care, which includes food and drink, symptom control and psychological, social and spiritual support, is agreed, co-ordinated and delivered with compassion.

The priorities form part of the Alliance’s overall response, called ‘One Chance to Get it Right’, to an independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway led by Baroness Neuberger.

Public Health England (PHE) is one of the 21 organisations that make up the Alliance, all of whom have committed today to support the Priorities for Care.

Professor Julia Verne, Clinical Lead for PHE’s National End of Life Care Intelligence Network said:

PHE’s role is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. We consider high quality care for dying people and their families to be an important public health issue. We are fully committed to the 5 Priorities for Care published by the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People today and to improving care in the last few days and hours of life for people in England.

We will do this by providing high quality information about end of life care to underpin the work of policy makers, commissioners, service providers and professionals, as well as to inform dying people and their families and contribute to a national conversation about dying. This includes the continuing work of the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network. We are also committed to examining ways to develop community approaches to support dying people and their families.

Download the report and commitment statements

About the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network

PHE’s National End of Life Care Intelligence Network was established in 2010 to improve the data and intelligence available to support the NHS and its partners to commission and deliver quality end of life care. For more information, see the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network website.

Published 26 June 2014