Dying well at home: the case for integrated working

Dying a good death

Improving the experience of people dying at home

They talk to you like you’re an imbecile ... I have all my faculties, I just can’t walk.

Person being cared for at home [17]


Professionals and providers should:

  • Personalise end of life care and treat patients/service users and carers as experts in their needs and preferences.
  • Involve people approaching the end of life in how care is delivered so they can continue to take part in valued activities and relationships and to determine their own routine activities and priorities.
  • Treat patients/service users who are dying with dignity and respect, not talking down to or over them, even if they appear to be unconscious.
  • Involve same-sex partners and be sensitive to cultural preferences and priorities.
  • Identify and respond to the spiritual and cultural needs that are important to the person and their carers.
  • Give people at the end of life and carers as much information as they want about the dying process and the services available.
  • Ensure that staff have had adequate training so that they can initiate conversations with people about their wishes and choices at the end of life.
  • Support those wishing to die at home to draw up an advance care plan, which specifies their wishes as the end of their life approaches. This should contain both advance statements of wishes (such as preferred place of care and of death) and any advance decisions to refuse treatment (such as instructions about resuscitation). A copy should stay with the person.

Key points from research and policy

Being person-centred

Advance care planning

Difficult conversations

Practice examples

  • Practice example 1 illustrates a volunteer befriending service, which can combat social isolation and help users and carers carry on with some of the activities they enjoy.
  • Practice example 6 is about ensuring that the dying person’s wishes are recorded and kept with them, so that they are accessible especially to professionals who do not know them, out-of-hours locum GPs and ambulance crews.


All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following downloads you will need a free MySCIE account:

Available downloads:

  • Dying well at home: the case for integrated working
  • Dying well at home: research evidence