Consultation - National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care

Consultation closed

Consultation was open between November 2022 and January 2023. The Commission is reviewing the feedback received. The second edition is anticipated to be ready for release after June 2023.


The Consensus Statement was endorsed  and released in 2015. The essential elements are the features required in systems to ensure safe and high-quality care for patients who are approaching the end of life. 

The updated draft includes information from recent literature reviews and has been adapted to provide an opportunity to broaden the content and enable its use in all settings where end-of-life care is provided including primary and community care and residential aged care facilities.

What are the changes in a nutshell

  • Guidance for specific patient groups where care may differ from usual end-of-life care including paediatrics which has been a separate document until now
  • Adapting language and terminology so it applies in all end-of-life care settings and increasing the information around the role of family
  • Changing the essential element Components of Care to Comprehensive Care, in alignment with language used in the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) and Primary and Community Healthcare Standards
  • Combining Education and Training, and Supervision and Support, into one element
  • Physical space to meet the individual needs of the patient and the family, including spaces where families can gather has been added as an organisational requirement
  • Inclusion of bereavement processes
  • Strengthening a number of elements including Person-Centred Communication and Shared Decision Making, Systems to Support High-quality Care and Leadership and Governance
  • Consideration of pandemics on care provision.