Palliative Care Policy - Key Documents

Below you will find the main palliative care policy documents relating for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

A more extensive list of palliative care policy documents and palliative care guidelines can be here: The Palliative Hub - Professional


Republic of Ireland

Report of the National Advisory Committee of Palliative Care (2002)

The Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care was launched in October 2001. It was described as a comprehensive examination of Palliative Care Services now and into the future.  The National Advisory Committee were asked to make recommendations on the development and organisation of an integrated palliative care service in all its facets, in-patient, home care, day care and outpatients services and furthermore to make recommendations on staffing, education, training and any other matters which relate to palliative care.  The Report recommended that each region should have a specialist palliative care unit, which would act as a specialist resource for the delivery of palliative care services in the hospital and in all care settings across the region. The Report also made recommendations on estimated bed number requirements for these units. There were also comprehensive recommendations on how palliative care services in all settings should be staffed.  Following its publication the Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care was adopted as Government policy and continues to inform the development and provision of Palliative Care in the Republic of Ireland.

Link to Document: Department of Health (2001) Report of the National Advisory Committee of Palliative Care

Palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions in Ireland - A Policy Document (2009)

This policy provides a foundation upon which children's palliative care services can be developed in Ireland. It is divided into three sections. The first section defines and describes palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions and draws on national and international developments in this small and highly specialised field of health care. The second section describes services as they are currently provided. The third section gives clear direction for the future development of palliative care for children.

Link To Document: Palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions in Ireland - A Policy Document


Northern Ireland

Living Matters Dying Matters: A Palliative and End of Life Care Strategy for Adults in Northern Ireland (2009)

Palliative and end of life care is the active, holistic care of patients with advanced progressive illness.

This Strategy identifies palliative and end of life care as a continuum of care that can evolve as a person’s condition progresses.

This is an integral part of the care delivered by all health and social care professionals, and indeed by families and carers, to those living with, and dying from any advanced, progressive and incurable conditions.

Palliative and end of life care focuses on the person rather than the disease and aims to ensure quality of life for those living with an advanced noncurative condition.

This 5 year Strategy provides a vision and direction for service planning and delivery.  It has been developed and should be implemented within the existing legal framework.

Link to Document: Living Matters Dying Matters: A Palliative and End of Life Care Strategy for Adults in Northern Ireland (DHSSPS, 2010)