New guidance for hospital staff on end of life care

Categories: Care.

‘Competence & Compassion: End of life care map’ is designed for staff involved in any aspect of end of life care. It is intended to provide practical advice and prompts along the end of life journey.

The new resource covers:

  • how doctors can recognise a progressive deterioration in health
  • diagnosing dying
  • communicating in difficult circumstances
  • planning end of life care with patients
  • communicating CPR decisions
  • caring for a deceased patient.

Dr Regina McQuillan, medical director at St Francis Hospice in Dublin and consultant at Beaumont Hospital, said: “Every dying person can benefit from the hospice philosophy of care which emphasises the physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing of the patient and which can be delivered by all doctors and healthcare staff.

“The end of life care map will be a valuable resource for hospital doctors of all specialties who find that their patient is at the end of his or her life. It provides practical advice they can consider in their efforts to ensure that their patient has a comfortable death and their family receives the support they need.”

The new resource was developed by the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme, in consultation with the Health Service Executive’s Palliative Care Clinical Care programme.

Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, said: “The map was prepared through rigorous research and in consultation with a wide range of staff including specialist palliative care so as to ensure that staff are prepared to support a patient and their family when they are most vulnerable. It is part of an ongoing effort to ensure that end of life care goes from the margins to the mainstream in our hospitals.”

The map, and a number of other resources, can be downloaded from the Hospice Friendly Hospital website.