Approximately 500,000 people die in England each year. People with advanced life threatening illnesses and their families should expect good end of life care, whatever the cause of their condition.
In addition to physical symptoms such as pain, breathlessness, nausea and increasing fatigue, people who are approaching the end of life may also experience anxiety, depression, social and spiritual difficulties.
The proper management of these issues requires effective and collaborative, multidisciplinary working within and between generalist and specialist teams, whether the person is at home, in hospital or elsewhere.
Families, including children, close friends and informal carers, also experience a range of problems at this time. They play a crucial role and have needs of their own before, during and after the person’s death: these too must be addressed.
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