End of life care
What is a good death? A good death is the best death that can be achieved in the context of the individual’s clinical diagnosis and symptoms, as well as the specific social, cultural and spiritual circumstances, taking into consideration patient and carer wishes and professional expertise. (London End of Life Clinical Network 2015)
Patients are generally defined as ‘approaching the end of life’ when they are likely to die within the next 12 months. This includes people whose death is imminent and expected within a few hours or days; and those with advanced, progressive, incurable conditions; and general frailty with co-existing conditions. (General Medical Council 2010). In Waltham Forest we currently commission end of life services from local hospices like St Joseph's.
We have recently developed a strategic framework for end of life care. This sets out or vision that when people are approaching the end of their lives, they will be enabled to die in their preferred place in a supported, safe and appropriate environment that meets the needs they have identified in advance. This will be irrespective of their medical condition.