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End of life care

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'End of life' care refers to the care of people who are in the final stages of their life, and aims to allow them to live in as comfortable and dignified a way as possible until they die. It is about providing support that meets the needs of both the person who is dying and the people close to them.

This care has a strong focus on managing symptoms to keep a person comfortable, helping them to adapt to the changes in their lives, and helping them to cope with the emotional impact of their illness.

This often relates to people with an advanced progressive illness (an illness that gets worse over time), for example cancer, heart disease, HIV / AIDS, or neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease. End of life care is often also called 'palliative' care.

People should be treated with dignity and respect and, where possible, in the place of their choosing, to ensure they receive high standards of care at the end of their life.

End-of-life care includes the management of pain and other symptoms, as well as psychological, social and spiritual support to help achieve the best quality of life available for patients and their families.

In the last few days of life the NHS takes over most of the care provision meaning that but there will be no cost for this care.

However there may still be a cost for any social care services provided, unless the patient has already been receiving continuing health care.

End of life care will be planned with you by your GP and the hospital team who have been supporting you with your condition.

Locations in your area who provide end of life care include the following:

Pembridge Hospice and Palliative Care
A 13-bed inpatient unit and day care unit. A team of specialist nurses also visit patients and their families at home to advise and support them and their GPs and district nurses. Services from the centre are available to residents of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster:

Pembridge Hospice and Palliative Care
St Charles Hospital
Exmoor Street
W10 6DZ
Phone: 020 8962 4406

Royal Trinity Hospice
Royal Trinity Hospice provides skilled, compassionate care and support to people with progressive, life-limiting illnesses and those close to them across central and south west London. Trinity supports people at home and in the Clapham-based hospice through their outpatient centre and inpatient facilities. All services are provided free of charge to patients and their families. Services from Trinity are available to residents of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

Click here for more information, or get in touch on the details below.

30 Clapham Common North Side
SW4 0RN
Phone: 020 7787 1000
Email: enquires@royaltrinityhospice.london

St John's Hospice
St John's Hospice, an independent charity located within the Hospital of St John's and St Elizabeth in St John's Wood, provides specialised palliative care to patients and their families in central and north west London. People supported include those with cancer, respiratory disease, heart failure and HIV.

60 Grove End Road
London
NW8 9NH
Switchboard: 020 7806 4040

You can get a fast-tracked payment of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) state benefit if you're not expected to live more than 6 months.

The Dying Matters website provides advice on what to do if you are concerned about the quality of the end of life care being received by someone you know as well as wealth of information, personal stories and experiences.

The NHS website provide information on all aspects of end of life care.

The National Council for Palliative Care provide information and advice for patients, carers and health and social care professionals.

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The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-to-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about palliative care and how it might affect them.

Our page on Cancer provides details of many organisations who support people with this condition and their carers.