The purpose of this guide is to make going home safe and secure for patients and their families.

It is intended to support acute hospital staff in their discharge planning for all patients who are in the last twelve months of life. Patients may be stable, deteriorating, unstable or actively dying. 

Going home from hospital with a life-threatening illness can be daunting. Most patients eagerly anticipate leaving hospital, but going home can also mean leaving routine, security and safety. This is true for people with families and carers who live with them as well as for those who live alone. 

Anyone can develop a life-threatening illness - older people, people with a disability, children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people in rural areas and the homeless. 

The people who care for them - family members or aged care or disability workers - can feel unprepared and unsure of what to do. This guide will help you prepare them for looking after the patient at home.

Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework 

Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework articulates the Victorian Government’s policy for supporting people in their last twelve months of life. This guide will help clinicians to address each of the framework’s five priorities:  

  • delivering person-centred services
  • engaging communities
  • coordinating and integrating services
  • making quality end of life and palliative care everyone's responsibility
  • strengthening palliative care.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition) call for processes supporting comprehensive care at the end of life that are consistent with the National consensus statement: essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care.

National consensus statements on end-of-life care

This guide is closely aligned with the National consensus statement: essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care and the National consensus statement: essential elements for safe and high-quality paediatric end-of-life care.

Refer to Therapeutic guidelines palliative care 2016 version 4 on the Clinicians Health Channel at your health service.