The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has reviewed and published the 2nd edition of the National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high‑quality end‑of‑life care. The Consensus Statement provides healthcare services with a best practice approach to caring for people who are approaching the end of their life. The Consensus Statement provides nine guiding principles that define safe and high‑quality end‑of‑life care. These are followed by 10 essential elements that outline the key actions that should be applied by healthcare services providing end‑of‑life care.
Essential elements 1–5 describe how end‑of‑life care should be approached and essential elements 6–10 describe the organisational processes required for the effective delivery of safe and high‑quality end‑of‑life care. However, the way the elements are applied will vary according to the local circumstances of the setting, the available resources, and the individual needs and preferences of the person receiving care.
The Consensus Statement has been developed for:
- Healthcare workers who provide health care to people approaching the end of their life
- Healthcare service executives and managers responsible for developing, implementing and reviewing systems for delivering end‑of‑life care
- Clinical education and training providers, including universities and professional colleges
- Health professional registration, regulation and accreditation agencies
- Planners, program managers and policy makers who are responsible for developing state or territory policies, or other strategic programs delivering end‑of‑life care.
The Consensus Statement applies to all services where health care is provided to people approaching the end of their life, including:
- Residential aged care facilities
- Home settings.