This quality standard covers the clinical care of adults (aged 18 and over) who are dying, during the last 2 to 3 days of life. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

 We’ve produced new guidance on managing COVID-19 symptoms (including at the end of life) in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is relevant to statements 2 and 3 in this quality standard and may help to support using the quality standard during this time.

It does not cover care before the last few days of life, such as palliative care or ‘end of life care’ (often defined as care during the last year or so of a progressive disease), or care after death. These are included in NICE’s quality standard for end of life care for adults.

How to use quality standards and how we develop them

Quality standards help you improve the quality of care you provide or commission. Find out how to use quality standards and how we develop them. We check our quality standards every August to make sure they are up to date.