Palliative and End of Life Care Toolkit


Approximately 1% of the UK’s population die each year, and within that population the majority of deaths can be predicted. Evidence has found that early identification of patients who are likely to die within the next 12 months often enables well coordinated, pro-active quality care, and allows healthcare professionals to focus on better meeting patients’ needs. The Palliative and End of Life Care Toolkit aims to provide a range of resources which can be used to support practices in ensuring patients nearing the end of life, and those close to them, receive the highest quality of care and support.

The Palliative and End of Life Care Toolkit provides a collection of tools, knowledge, and current guidance for healthcare professionals to support patients nearing the end of life to live well until they die. The resources include information for patients and those close to them. It has been developed in partnership with Marie Curie and the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre.

Who is the Palliative and End of Life Care Toolkit for?

The Palliative and End of Life Care Toolkit may be used by any general practice in the UK. The resources it provides can be used by healthcare professionals, informal carers, patients, and those close to someone nearing the end of life.

The toolkit will be updated on a regular basis. Please send any comments or suggestions to

Clinical resources and guidance for practices

As a patient nears the end of life, an holistic approach is recommended. This approach involves early identification of those likely to be in the last few months of life, discussion of end of life issues with patients and those close to them and provision of high quality care. The process continues after death with support for those left behind as well as reflective practice and audit for the practice team.

Current policy best practice

The following resources may be used to determine if a patient is nearing the end of life, and give recommendations of how treatment should be tailored to their specific requirements.

Clinical treatment guidance

The following resources can be used to provide a best practice guide for clinical treatment of a patient nearing the end of life.

Communicating with patients and those close to them

Current legislation promotes frequent detailed communication between healthcare professionals and patients, their families and others. These tools may be used to communicate with your patients and their support network.

Current knowledge sources

Legislation and knowledge relating to end of life processes is often changing. The following resources provide ongoing forums and updates in which healthcare professionals may keep abreast of current knowledge.

Resources and guidance for patients and carers

Patient resources: Planning ahead

These resources may be shared with patients who have been diagnosed as likely to die within the next 12 months. They provide information for the patient to plan ahead and decide on their care pathway.

Resources for those close to a dying patient

The following resources are appropriate to share with informal carers and those close to a patient who is dying. These resources aim to support individuals affected by the end of life process happening to those close to them.

National reports and legislation for practitioners

With the demise of the Liverpool Care Pathway, there has been much activity and collaborative working between groups involved with end of life care. Current national reports and legal guidelines for healthcare professionals to follow when caring for a person nearing end of life are found in this section.

Training and appraisal

Training resources to help fulfil CPD and revalidation requirements.

Further study and learning modules for practitioners

As well as reflective practice within local palliative care meetings, such as a practice Gold Standards Framework (GSF) meeting, clinicians are also able to access study days, online learning modules and post-graduate qualifications.


Clinicians and practices may carry out their own audits as part of the GSF meetings and to fulfil their Care Quality Commission obligations. Online tools are also available to help meet this requirement.

Background and information for commissioners

Following the phasing out of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) in 2014, new guidance for approaching a dying person was issued by the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People. The current guidelines make the dying person the focus of care in the last few days and hours of life and exemplify the high-level outcomes that must be delivered for every dying person. The way in which care varies is relative to the holistic needs of the individual, and the setting in which they are being cared for.

Developed in partnership with the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre, the guidance and resources within the Palliative and End of Life Care toolkit reflect current guidelines, and provide a toolkit that general practitioners may refer to when working with a patient who is nearing the end of their life.

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