Recognising when a patient may be approaching the final stages of their life and deciding who would be eligible to be placed on a palliative care register is not easy.

However, recognising that a patient is no longer responding to life-prolonging and / or disease modifying drugs and communicating this effectively and sensitively, is essential if that patient is to be empowered to become actively engaged in making decisions about the next steps they want to take.

This section contains materials that may help you to recognise where a patient is on their illness journey and provide you with information about some of the issues that may need to be considered.

There is a lot of useful information available online to help provide palliative care:

  • Ambitions for end of life care for the UK is a valuable website full of resources and aspirations around what end-of-life care should look like in local communities
  • Palliative Drugs is a specialist website about common medication used in palliative and end of life care.
  • There are dedicated online training packages for palliative and end-of-life care from Health Education England
  • Scottish guidance around palliative care features evidence-based guidelines which are a good reference
  • Dying Matters is a national campaign to raise awareness of death, dying and bereavement