End of Life Care
This is management aimed at comfort and support when active treatment of reversible conditions has become ineffective or burdensome. To a layperson, end of life care might mean the last hours or days of someone’s life, but the GMC (General Medical Council) defines it as the ‘last year of life’.
Caring for a person who is in the last days of their life is one of the most important responsibilities for any health or social care professional.
The care must be individualised, and take account of the person’s needs and wishes, and those of people who are close to them.
End of life care helps the supportive and palliative care needs of both patient and family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life and into bereavement. It is underpinned by
· Anticipation and management of deterioration in the patient’s condition
· Advance care planning in accordance with patient preferences about place of care and death (for example, if a patient doesn’t wish to die in hospital)
· Effective coordination of care across all teams and providers of care who are involved in the care of patients and their family.
Feedback from families:
"From my observations the doctor have lost a lot formality that used to surround them. This is a huge step forward. I feel it breaks down barriers and that can only be for the good."
"The staff were very charming and loving but they do need more staff to cover the ward."
"We would often find a nurse beside his bed comforting him when we arrived. Again understanding passionate care."
Care of the dying patient
Care of the dying patient is the care of the patient and family in the last hours and days of life. It incorporates 4 key domains of care physical, psychological, social and spiritual and supports the family at this time and into bereavement.
Use of an individualised care plan whether in a hospital ward, at home, or in the hospice, allows doctors and nurses to deliver appropriate care to patients who are dying, through sensitive communication, symptom management, and meeting all care needs.
The care plan we use in CHFT is called the Individualised Care of the Dying Document (ICODD) and staff will be happy to discuss this with you. An information leaflet about the care your loved one will receive is available, and if you wish to remain at the bedside, a small bag containing items you may find useful will be offered to you. (Pictured below)
Comfort Bags feedback
Feedback received in 2017:
"It was very thoughtful and good to know that other people are caring about the sad situation"
"Thank you so much for my mum's comfort bag. What a lovely thought"
Feedback received in 2016:
"I was very touched by this gift and it helped me feel a little better at this sad time"
"The bag is a lovely idea at a time when you don't even know what time of day it is. Well done!"
Feedback received in 2015:
"Thank you so much for your thoughtful preparation of this little bag. It has everything, plus more, than we could have wanted. Thanks once again."
"The contents of the comfort bag are a good idea particularly if someone is rushed into the hospital and do not have any belongings with them"