Subcutaneous Hydration guide history

Document Title

Guideline for the use of subcutaneous hydration in palliative care

Document Date

August 2023

Document Purpose and Intended Audience

This guideline has been produced to support the administration of subcutaneous fluids to palliative care patients in all care environments.


Dr Christina Radcliffe

Consultation Process

Discussed and ratified through SPAGG


Updated and reviewed through SPAGG

Review Date

(must be within three years)

September 2026

Approval Signatures:

SPAGG chair

Dr Jon Tomas

SPAGG secretary

Dr Emma Wooldridge

Date Approved by SPAGG: 18 August 2023

Date submitted to Area Prescribing Committee: N/A

Version History

Version 1.0


September 2009 - August 2012​

Summary of change/ process

  • Amendments made following Governance Committee Sub Group
  • Prepared for review by the NSSG in January 2012​
  • Sent to John Speakman (lead author) by Rachel Loveless​
  • Following consultation for review by TC​
  • Sent to NSSG and SPAGG for comments (Marion Burns)​
  • With final changes, for consideration by the Clinical Governance Sub Group​

Version 2.0


September 2012 - June 2017

Summary of change/ process

  • Endorsed by the Governance Sub Group
  • Reviewed by Christina Radcliffe, Diana Webb and Jane Bartholomew on behalf of SPAGG
  • Circulated to SPAGG group for comments
  • Comments reviewed and updated

Version 2.4


August 2017

Summary of change/ process

Final version produced, for ratification by SPAGG committee

Version 3.0


September 2020

Summary of change/ process

Reviewed by Christina Radcliffe on behalf of SPAGG, minor changes only needed. Consulted with BCHC teams who support community use of these guidelines.

Version 4.0


September 2023

Summary of change/ process

Reviewed by Christina Radcliffe on behalf of SPAGG, minor changes only needed. Noted CHELseaII study in progress so may need more radical review in coming years.

Disclaimer (SPAGG - Rewrite)

This Guide is intended for use by healthcare professionals and the expectation is that they will use clinical judgement, medical, and nursing knowledge in applying the general principles and recommendations contained within. They are not meant to replace the many available texts on the subject of palliative care.

Some of the management strategies describe the use of drugs outside their licensed indications. They are, however, established and accepted good practice. Please refer to the current BNF for further guidance.

While WMPCPS takes every care to compile accurate information , we cannot guarantee its correctness and completeness and it is subject to change. We do not accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense resulting from the use of this information.