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Policy and procedure

This document details the policy and procedures for extension of the lay carer role to include administration of as-needed subcutaneous medication in the management of common symptoms in the last days of life of people who expressed a wish to be at home when they die, under normal and usual circumstances.

For the purposes of this document, the term ‘lay carers’ refers to family members or friends or other lay carers looking after their loved one at home, and who are not paid to do this work. It includes healthcare professionals acting in the lay carer role for a loved one.

Specific considerations in relation to the national COVID-19 response are indicated in red font throughout the text. It is understood that more patients may need to be palliated at home due to extreme demand on health services during the infectious disease pandemic.