NHS England’s first strategy for end of life care in England, published in 2008, has succeeded in reversing the trend of increasing the proportion of deaths taking place in hospital. Although that significant achievement must be appreciated, the reality is that many people will continue to die in hospitals, sometimes by their own choice, sometimes by necessity of the circumstances leading up to their death. As importantly many people will need to spend a proportion of their last years, months, and weeks of life in hospital because of care and treatment that they need, and wish, to receive. We owe it to them and those important to them, to make that experience as good as we possibly can whilst they are there.
This revised and updated version of the Transforming end of life care in acute hospitals: The route to success ‘how to’ guide, published December 2015, marks another significant milestone to improve the quality and experience of care at end of life for patients and their families. Commissioned by NHS England, the publication offers practical advice and support for frontline clinicians and leaders for the work required to transform end of life care in acute hospitals.