End of Life and Palliative Care

Palliative care in the UK is amongst the best in the world due to the work of the NHS and hospice movement. However the end of a loved one’s life is, of course, one of the most traumatic events that can be experienced.

What guidance is available for end of life care?

In 2015 the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) published new guidance confirming new quality standards for the best end of life clinical practice.

The new guidance confirms that end of life care should be tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual (and their family) rather than solely based upon decisions made by treating clinicians. This includes the use of DNACPR (Do Not Attempt CPR) Orders. It is clear that these should not be unilaterally applied by a clinician but instead should be part of an overall discussion about the person’s end of life care wherever possible.

At a time of such heightened emotion disagreements can occur between family members and clinicians, especially if the person affected no longer retains the mental capacity to make their own decisions. In some cases this can mean the mandatory involvement of the Court of Protection which enables a Judge to decide what treatment, if any, is in the best interests of the relevant person.

NHS funding may also be available for those in the terminal stages of a rapidly deteriorating condition, in the form of NHS Continuing Healthcare. This funding can be received in any setting in order to provide a package of care to meet the relevant person’s health needs, and could be used to facilitate a home death in accordance with the person’s wishes.

How can SAS Daniels help with end of life care?

We can help you to request assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare if you are not being cared for in hospital. This will mean that you do not have to fund your own care and can rely upon the NHS to arrange this, even in your own home.

If there is a disagreement regarding the care of an individual who does not have the mental capacity to make their own decisions our experts can also provide advice and representation.

We can also assist with the preparation of an Advance Decision and drafting or reviewing a Will.

If you would like further information on end of life care, please contact a member of our specialist team.