Information for the public

Discussing and planning care

Making decisions about care and support

It is important that people are involved in decisions about their care in the last days of their life, if that is what they want, and that their wishes are respected. Their doctor or another member of the care team should talk to the person who is dying about the care and support they would like and, if the person agrees, involve their family members or other people important to them in these discussions. This might include particular treatments or identifying who should make decisions for them if they are no longer able. Sometimes decisions are already included in an 'advance statement', which has details about the care a person would like at the end of their life and what is important to them.

Sometimes extra support is needed in the last days of life, such as having meals delivered or a carer staying during the night. There should be a discussion to decide what is needed and available as early as possible.

There should be experienced staff available to help with making decisions. Extra help should also be available from a specialist if it is needed.

Making a care plan and keeping it updated

All of the discussions and decisions made about care should be recorded by the care team in an individual care plan covering the last days of life.

People sometimes change their minds about the care they would like or their needs may change as time passes. They should be given plenty of chances to keep discussing the care they would like, and their care plan should reflect any changes.

A list of questions that people might want to ask when discussing their care plan and making decisions has been provided.

  • Information Standard