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End of life care

Being cared for in hospital

In hospital, you will be cared for by the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who work on the ward where you are staying. Many hospitals have specialist palliative care teams, who work alongside and help hospital staff to care for people nearing the end of their life.

Palliative care teams provide hospital staff with specialist advice on pain and symptom control. They can help staff with your discharge plan or your transfer to a hospice, community hospital or care home.

Read more about palliative care.

When there is no cure for an illness, palliative and end of life care aim to make the end of your life as comfortable as possible. The staff caring for you in hospital should give you high-quality end of life care, tailored to your individual needs.

They should involve you and the people close to you in decisions about your care. They can explain to you what is going on, and should make sure they understand and communicate with each other about your choices and preferences. 

If there is anything you want to know, ask your doctor or nurse. If they don't know the answers to your questions, ask them to find somebody who does.

Find out what you can expect from end of life care.

Read about care at homecare in a care home and hospice care.

Page last reviewed: 09/07/2015

Next review due: 09/07/2017

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Your hospital stay

Find out what to expect if you are admitted as inpatient to an NHS hospital, including advice about consent to treatment