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End of life care helps those nearing the end of their life to live as well as possible until they die. Talking about death can be uncomfortable. It doesn’t bring it any closer, but talking about it can help with planning for the future for you and the people you care about. It is important to be open and talk to your family and / or friends about dying.

We are committed to providing high quality care and ensuring choice for all patients. We will work with you to enable you to be in your preferred place of care and to support you and your family. We will discuss with you any decisions you may have already made regarding your care and will talk with you about the best way we can support you at the end of your life.

Professionals and those involved in your care may therefore ask you about how you want to be supported, what is important to you, where you want to be cared for and even types of care and /or treatment you might want to avoid.

If you are being cared for at Frimley Park Hospital you may be interested in spending some time in the uniquely peaceful courtyard Time Garden. This garden has been specially designed to enable easy movement of bed-bound patients and provide as much privacy for them as possible in a non-clinical setting. The glass fronted pavilion provides shelter, warmth and homely facilities.

Advance care planning

An important aspect of caring for people at the end of their lives is discussing with individuals their preferences regarding the type of care they would wish to receive and where they wish to be cared for in case they lose capacity or are unable to express a preference in the future. This is the process of advance care planning (ACP) - a key means of improving care for people nearing the end of life and of enabling better planning and provision of care, to help them live well and die well in the place and the manner of their choosing. For those patients who are acutely ill or who may be approaching the end of life, advance care planning will include discussions about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as this is an important part of good clinical care.

CPR attempts to restart the heart or breathing when these have stopped. Unfortunately, this is not always successful in patients with advanced illness or who have other significant conditions. Your doctor or healthcare professional caring for you will ensure that decisions about CPR are discussed with you in order to establish your wishes. We will make a clinical judgement about whether to attempt CPR based on how likely it is to succeed as we need to ensure that an ineffective treatment is avoided and patients who are dying have a dignified and peaceful end.
Be assured that a decision not to attempt CPR only applies to CPR itself and that we will continue to treat and care for you to the best of our ability.

Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT)

The Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) is a process that allows you to record your wishes about how you would like to be treated in a medical emergency when you may not have capacity to make or express choices.

It involves a discussion between you and a clinician about the treatments you would or would not want to be considered, the things that are most important to you or that you are worried about, and any treatments that would not work for you. It also includes a decision on whether you would want CPR in the event of a cardiac arrest. This information is recorded on a ReSPECT form, which belongs to you and is kept by you. ReSPECT is also shared with and recognised by ambulance services, nursing homes, hospices and the wider healthcare community.

Trust End of Life Care Steering Group

Delivery of end of life care in the Trust as well as driving improvements in this area of care are regularly overseen by our active and muti-professional steering group. The group is chaired by Dr Lucy Abbott, consultant geriatrician and Chief of Service for Community Services and Older People's Medicine.

Useful links

If you would like more information, you may find the following list of websites helpful

Local hospices