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End of life care

Where you can be cared for

If you are approaching the end of life, you may be offered care in a variety of settings. The palliative care team will organise for you to be cared for according to your wishes.

You can receive end of life care:

  • at home
  • in a care home
  • in a hospital 
  • in a hospice

Care at home

You may not need to move away from home to receive care, as end of life care can often be provided at home. Sometimes this is available at any time of the day or night. To find out whether you can receive nursing care or hospice care at home, check with your GP.

Read more about care at home.

In a care home

You can receive end of life care in a care home if you wish. In a care home, trained staff are available to look after you day and night.

Read more about care in a care home.

In hospital

You may be cared for in hospital. Many hospitals have specialist palliative care teams who work alongside and support the hospital doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals.

Read more about care in hospital.

Hospice care

Hospice care is provided by a specialist unit run by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, counsellors and trained volunteers. Hospice care can take place in your own home, as an in-patient at a hospice or as a day patient visiting the hospice.

Read more about hospice care.

NHS continuing healthcare

If you choose to receive care at home, in a care home, or in a hospice, you should be assessed for NHS continuing healthcare.

Continuing healthcare is care given over an extended period to meet the physical or mental health needs of adults with a disability, injury or illness. It involves a package of care that is arranged and funded by the NHS and is free of charge to the person receiving the care. This is sometimes called "fully funded NHS care". 

Help and support

If there is someone looking after you, such as a partner or relative, it could be helpful for them to get a carer's assessment to see whether they qualify for local authority help.

You are entitled to high-quality end of life care, wherever you receive it. If you have questions or comments about your care, the service providing it will want to hear your views. Find out who to contact with your feedback.

Healthtalk.org has videos and written interviews of people talking about where they want to be cared for at the end of life

Page last reviewed: 09/07/2015

Next review due: 09/07/2017

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