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End-of-life care

Safe and high-quality end-of-life care considers the needs, preferences and wishes of the patient. The health care that people receive in the last years, months and weeks of their lives can help to minimise the distress and grief associated with death and dying for the individual and their family, friends and carers.

The Commission provides guidance and tools for health service organisations, clinicians and consumers to help identify where improvement can be made to the delivery of safe and high-quality end-of-life care. Core elements of these have been incorporated into the Comprehensive Care Standard in the second edition of the NSQHS Standards.

In 2019–20, the Commission developed a guide for health service organisations and clinicians for achieving end-of-life care that aligns with both the NSQHS Standards and the National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for delivering safe and high-quality end-of-life care. This guide is expected to be released in 2020–21.

In partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health, the Commission developed a healthcare workforce survey to determine the extent of use of clinical tools to identify people approaching the end of life. Data from this national survey will support the identification of patients at the end of life.

During 2019–20, the Commission gave presentations on end-of-life care at six events, produced three new fact sheets, and participated in the development of end-of-life guidelines and frameworks initiated by partner organisations.