Clear communication with the person and their family allows them to plan and make decisions in line with their preferences and situation. Communication requires skills in giving and receiving information, but for many people discussing end-of-life issues can be a challenge. Knowing how to start the conversation can help.

How to discuss prognosis and end-of-life issues

Vital Talks has examples of phrases that can be used to Disclose Serious News. They  also have  a talking map to guide Discussing Prognosis and changing goals of care and a series of 5 videos.


CareSearch GP resource on communicating with patients and families.

You can also download the CareSearch factsheet Starting palliative care conversations: For health professionals (172kb pdf).

Patient and carer conversations

Page updated 12 March 2024