If you have a rapidly deteriorating condition which is entering the terminal phase, the medical team may complete a “Fast Track” document. This is an application to continuing health care for funding. The funding if approved is to pay for support to enable a quick discharge from hospital to your preferred place. This may also be done if you are at home and will enable services to be arranged quickly to support you at home, or help you to move to a nursing home quickly.
This means that the support would be free of charge to you whilst the fast track funding remains in place.
If the person is “fast tracked” in hospital a care planning meeting would normally happen on the ward. This is a meeting whereby the district nurse would meet you and your family and gain information from the ward staff and other professionals prior to discharge. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions about discharge and for a plan to be put in place for the support you will receive when you leave hospital.
The NHS should complete a review of this funding within 3 months of the award. In some cases the NHS may arrange for additional assessment (done through using the Decision Support Tool). This is done to help them decide whether to continue funding the support.
For more information please see the NHS Continuing Health Care web page:
and look at related documents at the bottom of the page. We have added the link to one of the leaflets below:
During this period of time there are also a number of practical preparations that you might wish to consider. This information is a brief outline only and we recommend that you explore further any of these that you wish to take action on:
- Make a living will – this can give information about consenting or withholding consent to medical treatment
- Deciding funeral wishes
- Pre-paying for a funeral
- Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – a legal document identifying a representative to carry out wishes of a person who is unable to carry them out personally due to ill health. The LPA can be about property and affairs or personal health and will cease to be valid on the date of death, so a will should be made also.
- Making a will
- Where the patient wishes to be cared for at the end of life
On a non-practical note try to:
- Do things together to make some happy memories even if it’s just watching a film, listening to a play etc.
- Don’t take your anger at the situation out on the other person, off load on family or friends instead, someone who can take that emotional burden
- Discuss some of the practical issues, you might find that it is a relief for both of you to talk about them
There are local places where information can be obtained such as your hospital’s bereavement office, your or the patient’s social worker or GP, the local or hospital chaplain.
There are also many websites that will have useful information on practicalities before death, for example