Care of the Dying

Guidance for the Management of Symptoms in Adults in the Last Days of Life 

  • Please note that these recommendations should only be used for patients in the last days of life and should not be used outside this context.
  • They are a GUIDE, and should be used as such. They may differ from other recommendations but have been chosen to reflect expert opinion, best evidence and safety.
  • Users are advised to monitor patients carefully for side effects and response to treatment. Responsibility for the use of these recommendations lies with the healthcare professional(s) managing each patient.
  • Seek specialist advice when necessary, especially in patients with complex needs.
  • When prescribing drugs, always start with the lowest dose in the range specified in this guide.
  • For patients with moderate to severe renal or hepatic impairment in the last days of life please seek specialist advice

Link to guidelines: Guidance for the Management of Symptoms in Adults in the Last Days of Life 


Care of dying adults in the last days of life

This guideline covers the clinical care of adults (18 years and over) who are dying during the last 2 to 3 days of life. It aims to improve end of life care for people in their last days of life by communicating respectfully and involving them, and the people important to them, in decisions and by maintaining their comfort and dignity. The guideline covers how to manage common symptoms without causing unacceptable side effects and maintain hydration in the last days of life.

Link to guidelines: Care of dying adults in the last days of life


NICE NG31 Care of the Dying Next Steps Workshop (Acute)

The NICE NG31 guideline was endorsed in Northern Ireland by the Department of Health (DoH) (formerly DHSSPS) in the Circular HSC (SQSD) (NICE NG31) 9/16 in February 2016. Due to the complexity and scope of NICE NG31 it was agreed to progress the implementation through a regional collaborative approach under the Regional Palliative Care Programme across Northern Ireland.

On 29th March 2017 a workshop was held with representatives from the acute services to assess the current implementation of the guideline in Northern Ireland. Presentations from the event can be viewed here.

Overview NICE Guideline NG31 Care of the Dying Adult - Prof Sam Ahmedzai https://youtu.be/aayDawhjgCQ 

Implementation NICE Guideline NG31 Care of the Dying Adult to date in Northern Ireland - Corrina Grimes/ Paul Turley https://youtu.be/Cv58QOYKxCU

our nation experience of the Implementation NICE Guideline NG31 Care of the Dying Adult - Prof Sam Ahmedza https://youtu.be/g6vzPSvTJ48

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