5 priorities for care
Experts have agreed that there are 5 important priorities for the care and support that you and your carers can expect to receive in the last few days and hours of life.
- You should be seen by a doctor regularly and if they believe you will die very soon, they must explain this to you and the people close to you.
- The staff involved in your care should talk sensitively and honestly to you and the people close to you.
- You and the people close to you should be involved in decisions about how you are treated and cared for, if this is what you want.
- The needs of your family and other people close to you should be met as far as possible.
- An individual plan of care should be agreed with you and delivered with compassion.
Every moment counts (PDF, 1.79Mb) describes person-centred care from the point of view of someone approaching the end of life.
Who can I speak to if I am concerned?
Good end of life care includes good communication between you, the people close to you and the staff caring for you.
Your health and social care team should listen to your wishes and concerns and recommend someone who can help if they can't. At the least, they should listen to you fully and explain the situation to you clearly.
If you are not happy with how someone has dealt with your questions or comments, you have the right to complain to the organisation they work for. The law says that every GP practice, hospital, hospice or care home must have a complaints procedure that lets you know how to complain. Other kinds of organisation will have similar procedures.
How to take a complaint further
If you are not satisfied with how your complaint is dealt with, you can take it further.
- For care provided or funded by the NHS, contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
- For care funded or arranged by your local council, contact the council.
- For care provided by other kinds of organisation, contact the Local Government Ombudsman.
Read more about the different ways you can make a complaint about end of life care services in What to expect when someone important to you is dying (PDF, 1.49Mb)