Care of dying adults in last days of life – NICE guidance

NICE has published guideline NG 31 on the 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



This guideline includes recommendations on:

  1. Recognising when people are entering the last few days of life
  2. Communicating and shared decision-making
  3. Clinically assisted hydration
  4. Medicines for managing pain, breathlessness, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, delirium, agitation, and noisy respiratory secretions
  5. Anticipatory prescribing

Who is it for?

  1. Health and social care professionals caring for people who are dying, including those working in primary care, care homes, hospices, hospitals and community care settings such as people’s own homes
  2. Commissioners and providers of care for people in the last days of life
  3. People who are dying, their families, carers and other people important to them

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