End of life care for adults - quality standard (QS13)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE
Publication date:
28 November 2011


This quality standard covers care for adults (aged 18 and over) who are approaching the end of their life. This includes people who are likely to die within 12 months, people with advanced, progressive, incurable conditions and people with life-threatening acute conditions. It also covers support for their families and carers. It includes care provided by health and social care staff in all settings. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

 We’ve produced new guidance on managing COVID-19 symptoms (including at the end of life) in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is relevant to statement 16 in this quality standard and may help to support using the quality standard during this time.

It does not include the care of people in the last days of life, which is covered by NICE’s quality standard for care of dying people in the last days of life.

In March 2017, this quality standard was updated and statement 11 on care in the last days of life was removed and replaced by NICE’s quality standard for care of dying people in the last days of life.

In October 2013, changes were made to remove references to the Liverpool Care Pathway, which reflect the phasing out of this pathway.

For more information, see update information.

How to use NICE quality standards and how we develop them

Quality standards help you improve the quality of care you provide or commission. Find out how to use quality standards and how we develop them. We check our quality standards every August to make sure they are up to date.

This quality standard is being updated. For more information please check the end of life care quality standard update page.