Death and dying are inevitable. Being able to live as well as possible until we die is something that we all value. The needs of people of all ages who are living with dying, death and bereavement, their families, carers and communities, must be addressed, taking into account their priorities, preferences and wishes. Personalised care in the last year(s) and months of life will result in a better experience, tailored around what really matters to the person, and more sustainable health and care services.
Palliative care is defined by the World Health Organisation as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and their families who are facing problems associated with life-limiting illness, usually progressive. It prevents and relieves suffering through the early identification, correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.
In England, the term ‘end of life care’ refers to the last year of life.