Recommendation ID

What are the benefits of planned, regular community-based reviews compared with as-required review of non-cancer patients approaching the end of their life?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

There is little relevant research evidence for the optimum frequency of review of people with progressive non-cancer conditions who may be approaching the end of their life. Many of the studies attempted in this area have been conducted in other countries where the healthcare systems are very different from the UK. 'Usual care' for non-cancer conditions tends to provide demand-led review by specialists and primary care staff. This may be appropriate if people are well supported at home or in care settings. However, it could lead to unrecognised deterioration in symptoms or functioning, and place people at risk of crises and unplanned hospital admissions if they are living alone or have little professional support. A policy of regular, planned reviews of patients in their place of residence could improve symptom management, maintain a better level of functioning, prevent crises and may pre-empt emergency hospital visits and admission. However, there is a risk that they could impose unnecessary burdens on the patient, family and the healthcare system.

This research would study non-cancer patients receiving usual care (with or without any concurrent specialist level care), and assess their outcomes against different levels of frequency of planned specialist reviews in the community.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
End of life care for adults: service delivery
Date issued
October 2019

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/10/2019