This quality standard covers care for adults (aged 18 and over) who are approaching the end of their life. This includes people who are likely to die within 12 months, people with advanced, progressive, incurable conditions and people with life-threatening acute conditions. It also includes support for their families and carers. Care provided by health and social care staff in all settings is covered. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

It does not include the care of people in the last days of life, which is covered by NICE’s quality standard for care of dying adults in the last days of life.

In March 2017, this quality standard was updated and statement 11 on care in the last days of life was removed and replaced by NICE’s quality standard for care of dying adults in the last days of life.

In October 2013, changes were made to remove references to the Liverpool Care Pathway, which reflect the phasing out of this pathway.

For more information see update information.

Keeping quality standards up to date

This quality standard is reviewed each year and updated if needed.

Quality standard development process

How we develop NICE quality standards