End of life care helps people who are nearing the end of their life to live well and to die in the most comfortable and dignified way possible. It also supports their family and carers in coping with the death of a loved one.
End of life care can be available in a hospice, at home, in a hospital or in a care home. You can read more about end of life care on the NHS website.
Palliative care is usually given as part of end of life care, but it may be offered at an earlier stage in an illness, for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy for cancer or to manage the symptoms of a chronic condition. Palliative care manages the symptoms of an incurable or terminal illness, or the side effects of the drugs that are being used to treat it. It doesn’t cure the condition itself, but it will make you more comfortable by reducing pain or other symptoms and offering psychological, spiritual and emotional support.
Your doctor or nurse will be able to refer you for palliative care services. You can also find out more about some of the palliative care services in West Sussex below.
If you have an illness or disability where you have a need for long-term healthcare, you may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) funding. This is a free of charge care package arranged and funded by the NHS. To check whether you are eligible for CHC funding, you need to have an assessment, which you can arrange by speaking to your doctor, nurse or the clinical commissioning group (CCG) that manage local health services in your area.
You may also be eligible for government benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or help with social care from West Sussex County Council. For an assessment of your social care needs, contact West Sussex County Council’s Adults’ CarePoint.
Contact Adults' CarePoint
Use our online enquiry form
Phone: 01243 642121 Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays)
NGT Text Relay: 18001 01243 642121 (available as a downloadable app for computer tablets and smartphones. Helps people with speech and hearing difficulties.)
Emergency out of hours: 01243 642121 (calls will be diverted)
Write an advance care plan
An advance care plan is an outline of your wishes regarding your future care. You can use it to tell people where you would like to die, what spiritual beliefs you would like to have reflected and any practical concerns that need to be taken care of. You can pass this on to your family, carers and medical professionals who are involved in your care. You can find out more about advance statements on the NHS Choices website. There is a template advance care plan on the Sussex Community NHS Trust website or you could use the Preferred Priorities for Care document on the Further information tab.
Make a will
A will lets people know what you would like to happen to your money, property and possessions after your death. You can find out more about making a will on the Gov.uk website.
Give someone power of attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows another person to manage your health and care or property and finances if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. This may be particularly appropriate if you have a condition such as dementia that will affect your mental capacity to make decisions in future. You can find out more about LPAs in our Money advice section.
Consider an advance decision about treatments
If there are circumstances where you would not want certain further medical treatments, for example, being resuscitated, you can make an advance decision to refuse treatment or a ‘living will’. This states the situation and the kind of treatment that you do not want. It’s a formal document that needs to be written down, signed and witnessed. You can find out more about advance decisions on the NHS Choices website.
Talk to your family
Talk to your family and friends about your condition, your feelings, your worries, and your wishes for the future and your death and funeral. It can make you feel less isolated and it may help both you and them to be able to talk openly.