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End of Life Care

“The majority of deaths in the United Kingdom occur after a period of chronic illness. During this time people often require ongoing care which may include end of life care. It helps them to live as well as possible until they die. It also includes support for their family or carers. A person is ‘approaching the end of life’ when they are likely to die within the next 12 months.” (RCN, 2015, Getting it right every time). Use this guide to find information resources about end of life care including books, journal articles and reports.

Last updated: 14/06/2022

Key Resources

Book Cover

Royal College of Nursing (2016) When someone asks for your assistance to die: RCN guidance on responding to a request to hasten death.

RCN Learning resource: End of life care and wellbeing for the nursing and midwifery workforce
  • Online learning resource for nursing staff:
    View page
RCN: Getting it right every time: the fundamentals of nursing care at the end of life
  • Online learning resource for nursing staff:
Marie Curie (2019) Caring for LGBTQ+ people at the end of life. 
NHS (2021): End of life care.
Getting it right every time: fundamentals of nursing care at the end of life Royal College of Nursing (2015) Getting it right every time: fundamentals of nursing care at the end of life. London: RCN.
Book Cover Review of Choice in End of Life Care Programme Board (2015) What’s important to me. A review of choice in end of life care. London: DH.
Department of Health (2016) Our commitment to you for end of life care. The government response to the review of choice in end of life care. London: DH.
Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Bevan Foundation (2014) Death and dying in Wales: an analysis of inconsistencies in access to specialist palliative care and hospital activity in the last year of life.Penarth: Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Care Quality Commission (Great Britain) (2016) A different ending: end of life care review. Care Quality Commission, London
NHS England (2017) Delivering high quality end of life care for people who have a learning disability. 
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2016) End of life care: our position. London: NMC.

Department of Health (2017) The route to success in end of life care in acute hospitals your guide. London: DH.

We would like to thank the RCN Pain and Palliative Care member community for their input into the development of this subject guide.


Book cover Acquaviva K D (2017) LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Guide to Transforming Professional Practice. La Verne: Perseus Book LLC (Ingram).
Book Cover Allen R S, Carpenter B D and Eichorst M K (2018) Perspectives on palliative and end-of-life care: disease, social and cultural context. Abingdon: Routledge.
Book Cover Bardy S (2016) Choosing end of life nursing. Adelaide: ATF Press. 
Book cover Blackmore T and Parker G (2020) Community palliative care and COVID-19: a handbook for clinicians who care for palliative patients with COVID-19 in community settings. Class Professional Publishing: Bridgwater.
Book Cover Cooper D B and Cooper J (2018) Palliative Care within Mental Health: Ethical Practice, Taylor and Francis.
Book Cover Costello J (2019) Adult palliative care for nursing, health and social care. London: Sage Publications.
Book cover Lombard J (2018) Law, palliative care and dying: legal and ethical challenges. Abingdon: Routledge. 
Book Cover Mannix  K (2017) With the end in mind: dying, death and wisdom in an age of denial. London: William Collins.
Book Cover Matzo M L & Sherman D W (2018) Palliative care nursing: quality care to the end of life. New York: Springer.
Book Cover Nicol J (2017) Palliative and end of life care in nursing, London: Sage.
Book Cover Rose I and Ryan K (2016) Doorways into dying: innovative teachings for end of life. London: Austin Macauley.
Book Cover Shapiro S P (2019) Speaking for the dying: life-and-death decisions in intensive care. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

Book subject searches

Use these links to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on each topic.

Journal articles

Use these links for details of journal articles on each topic.


Book Cover Journals of interest for end of life care. Use these links to see details of availability.


Royal College of Nursing (no date) Care home journey. RCN.
Royal College of Nursing (2021) Profile: Lisa Cartwright, Specialist Palliative Care Community Nurse.
Social Care Institute for Excellence (2014) End of life care: achieving dignity for those with dementia, Great Britain: Social Care TV (video).

Social Care Institute for Excellence (2014) and palliative care: Thinking about the words we use, Great Britain: Social Care TV (video). 



RCN library staff

Kat Black

Editor of this guide

RCN Library and Archive Service

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Page last updated - 14/06/2022