AMBER Care Bundle

The Amber Care Bundle – Patients whose recovery is uncertain

The AMBER care bundle aims to improve the quality of care for inpatients whose potential for recovery is uncertain and may be approaching the end of their lives despite treatment. It gives staff the opportunity to involve patients and their families in discussions about treatment and future care.

It encourages staff, patients and families to continue with treatments in the hope of recovery whilst talking openly to them about what is important to them now and in the future, and the seriousness of their condition.

It consists of four elements:

  • Talking to the patient and their family to let them know that the healthcare team has concerns about their condition, and to establish their preferences and wishes
  • Deciding together how the patient will be cared for should their condition get worse
  • Documenting a medical plan
  • Agreeing these plans with all of the clinical team looking after the patient.

The patient’s condition is monitored closely and followed up on a daily basis to record any changes and address any concerns that they or their family may have.

The AMBER care bundle has been identified by National Health Service (NHS) England as one of the five key enablers to Transform End of Life Care in Acute Hospitals. It has been highlighted as representing good practice by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the 2019 guideline 'End of life care for adults: service delivery' and by the Royal College of Physicians.

The aim is to ensure that patients and their carers are involved as much as they want to be in shared decision making at a time when there is medical uncertainty.

AMBER care bundle patient information leaflet

Please click here to download the AMBER care bundle – guide for patients, their families and carers.

"People want to be treated with dignity and respect. They want their care and support to be coordinated so they only have to tell their story once. They want to be treated as individuals — not as a bag of body parts or problems. They want to talk about their priorities; not necessarily ours. They want to know about their options and what is known of the risks, benefits and consequences of all reasonable courses of action that are open to them. In short, they want to be supported to feel as in control as they would wish."

Alf Collins, Clinical Director for Personalised Care, NHS England, ‘Person-centred care in 2017’ National Voices, National Council for Palliative Care and NHS England

Healthcare Professionals

If you are a healthcare professional and would like more information about the AMBER care bundle please email Claire Cadwallader, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist via