Public Health Approach to End of Life - A Toolkit

This toolkit was developed in support of building the capacity of public health palliative care and compassionate communities in the UK.


This toolkit has been written for everyone who is interested in extending end-of-life care to community settings and developing public health responses to death, dying and loss. Public health end-of-life care has promising potential in today’s increasingly diverse communities that need to adapt their responses and be flexible in order to meet unique and highly individualised needs. A compassionate approach to end-of-life care guarantees sustainable responses and networks of care that adapt and are flexible, depending upon need and demand. In compassionate communities citizens are encouraged to be knowledgeable and informed about death, dying, loss and care and adapt their practices and behaviour to meet needs that they encounter in their everyday lives. Services and local authorities play a significant role in providing and sustaining quality end-of-life care, but people from all walks of life should be involved in designing suitable end-of-life care policies that meet their needs. This toolkit provides introductory information on the origins and development of modern end-of-life care, and explains how we can differentiate a service-oriented approach from a broader public health approach to death, dying, loss and care. It then proceeds to describe the development of this broader public health approach.

Holly Smith