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The principles behind end of life care and the implications for patients

End of life care became the focus of media attention in 2013 when the Liverpool Care Pathway was found to be not fit for purpose. This article looks at the policy background to end of life care in the UK, as well as the current state of provision, from a community nursing perspective. It also focuses on pressure ulceration, a key complication for patients at the end of life, offering advice on how to approach skin care for this patient group. Finally, the author examines the implications for treatment of mental capacity legislation, and how concepts such as 'advanced decisions' and ethics affect nurses trying to treat patients at the end of life.