End of life care must be given for dying patients in a improved way and also based on the individual needs, according to new NHS end-of-life guidance.
The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (Nice) has issued a new set of guidelines that aims to support healthcare professionals in giving consistent, compassionate and high-quality clinical care to people in their final days.
‘NICE issues new guidelines for giving consistent, compassionate and high-quality clinical care for people in their final days. It mainly focuses on giving GP-assisted hydration and GP-end of life care.’
The new guidelines replace the Liverpool Care Pathway which was phased out last year after a review found serious failings in how it was implemented. It became seen as a 'tick-box exercise' and a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Many people were not given proper hydration and medications during their final days.
The Nice guideline addresses these issues and gives professionals a comprehensive, humane and evidence-based framework for giving dying people and their families the best possible care based on each individual's needs and wishes.
The guideline also allows end of life care based on the individual's need. After discussion with the dying person their loved ones and healthcare professionals should include the patient's wishes, and where they would prefer to be cared for.
It will help doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals recognize when a person may be entering the last days of their life, or if they may be deteriorating, stabilizing or improving. It also sets out what information should be recorded and signs to look out for which may indicate if the person is recovering or deteriorating.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of Nice, said: "How we are cared for can make a big difference to our final days. Looking after people who are dying can be challenging and our new evidence-based guideline will support doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible for every patient."