Last Days of Life
The Last Days of Life tools and resources aims to improve and support the care of the dying patient.
They ensure all dying patients are recognised early, receive optimal symptom control, have social, spiritual and cultural needs addressed, both patient and families/carers are involved in decision-making, and bereavement support occurs.
This toolkit provides information, resources and quality improvement (QI) tools for managers and clinicians to improve care of dying patients in NSW health services. The resources may be adapted to suit local needs that is, for initial implementation, to review and improve current practices or support current practice
The tools have been specifically developed for use by generalist clinicians and are not intended to replace either local Specialist Palliative Care guidelines or advice given by Specialist Palliative Care clinicians.
The various tools relate to:
- Recognition of the dying patient, management planning and care after death – a standard approach to identification of the dying patient; symptom assessment and management; and care after death
- Medication prescribing for symptom management – generalist guidance on prescribing anticipatory subcutaneous medications for symptoms experienced by patients in the last days of life
- Accelerated transfer to die at home – guidance to facilitate a safe, smooth and seamless transition of care for persons who express a wish to die at home
- Information for patients and families – important information for the patient and their family/carers.
To join the Last Days of Life Quality Improvement Community of Practice (hosted via the Quality Improvement Data System - QIDS) the project team must first complete the online registration form. Following this, the CEC will add the project team to the Last Days of Life Toolkit Improvement Project in QIDS.
Via QIDS, project teams will be able to:
- Access additional resources and QI tools, including last days of life specific examples
- Manage their own improvement project
- Collaborate with other teams undertaking improvement around care of the dying patient.
The icon is used throughout the toolkit to indicate when and how to use QIDS for your improvement project.