End of Life Care Audit: objectives and scope

Produced by:

The overarching aim of this audit is to improve the quality of care and services for patients who have reached the end of their life, in hospitals in England.

This aim will be achieved through a project with the following objectives:

  1. To build on the learning from previous care of the dying audits to date, preserving and further developing the most successful design features in order to maximise its quality improvement impact whilst moving away from a focus on a 'pathway'.
  2. To achieve and maintain close alignment with relevant national guidance – One Chance to get it Right, NICE national guidelines and quality standards throughout the audit, as appropriate.
  3. To consider how the experience of relatives and carers could be incorporated in the audit moving forwards and achieving a granularity that would enable the future comparison of providers of healthcare and address any potential for duplication.
  4. To develop from the dataset markers of best practice for end of life care to enable comparison over time with the potential to be used in other national audits.
  5. To enable improvements through the provision of timely, high-quality data that will enable the future comparison of healthcare providers, and comprise an integrated mixture of named trust, MDT and consultant-level reporting.

Scope of the audit

The audit will incorporate an organisational audit and a clinical audit.

The End of Life Care organisational audit dataset will address the key messages and recommendations from the National Care of the Dying Audit Hospitals, England 2014.

The End of Life Care clinical (case note review) audit dataset will address the key messages and recommendations from the National Care of the Dying Audit of Hospitals, England 2014, and the Priorities for Care of the Dying Person.

Involvement of those important to the patient

While the 2015 audit won't incorporate a survey of bereaved relatives' views, it will undertake a consultation with NHS trusts to assess whether post-bereavement surveys are being undertaken and, if so, what type of survey tools are being used. Dependent on the responses received, it may then be feasible to develop a short form/tool for use in future audit rounds.