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End of Life Care

Health and Social Care

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

End of Life Care

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The publication of Quality Outcome Measure 10: Percentage of the last six months of life spent at home or in a community setting was published on 10 October 2017.

In the October 2017 publication the data is presented in table and graphical format, at Scotland, Health Board and Health and Social Care Partnership level for the financial years 2010/11 to 2016/17. Tables providing a breakdown of the national figures by gender, age, deprivation and rurality are also included.


End of life care (palliative care) is an important, integral aspect of the health care provided to those living with and dying from any advanced or progressive and life-threatening condition. It is now possible to predict the progress of many of these conditions, enabling a planned approach to end of life care in ways which reflect, as far as possible, the needs and wishes of patients, carers and their families..

Living and Dying Well: A National Action Plan for Palliative and End of Life Care in Scotland Download pdf file was published in 2008 with the aim to provide focus and momentum to improve palliative and end of life care for everyone in Scotland who requires it regardless of their geographic or demographic circumstances, and to encourage efficient collaborative practice across health care, social care and voluntary sectors.

In May 2010, the NHS Healthcare Quality Strategy was launched with the aim of delivering high quality healthcare services to people in Scotland. A direct action identified by the Quality Strategy was to develop a Quality Measurement Framework supporting a number of Quality Outcome Measures (QOMs). These measures cover a range of healthcare topics including; care experience, healthcare acquired infections, hospital mortality rates and end of life care.

Quality Outcome Measure 10: The percentage of last 6 months of life spent at home or in a community setting

QOM10 focuses on measuring the impact of "Living and Dying Well" and in particular on its objective to "produce achievable and measurable changes which will ensure quality improvement and enhance patient and carer experience".

Ideally, the measure would relate directly to the patient's preferred place of care at the end of their life. However, there is no national and systematic data recorded on a person's preferred place of care at end of life and so this publication uses instead the following surrogate measure: "Percentage of last six months spent in home or a community setting". Although this is not a direct measure of compliance with people's preferred place of death, it can serve to provide a broad indication of progress in implementation of the national action plan.

It is envisaged that an increase in this measure will reflect both quality and value through more effective, person centred and efficient end of life care with people being better able to be cared for at home or closer to home with a planned approach to end of life care resulting in less time in an acute setting.

ISD have been working with the Quality Measurement Framework to develop this new measure and we intend to continue publishing on an annual basis at health board and health and social care partnership level.

The last publication was released on 10th October 2017 presenting data up to 31st March 2017 and is available in the publications section of the website. Please note that this is a revised version of the publication released on 30th May 2017. This follows improvements in hospital data completeness and updates to death records. For more detailed information around these revisions, please see the accompanying publication report on release.

The measure is under development and the definitions are subject to change in light of stakeholder feedback. This may result in future revisions to the published data in accordance with ISD's revisions policy.

Main contacts

Aghimien Iyayi-Igbinovia

Jenny Armstrong

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