Enabling ICU patients to die at home
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Enabling ICU patients to die at home

Emma Battle Ward manager, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire
Lucy Bates Consultant anaesthetist, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire
Emma Liderth Nurse, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire
Samantha Jones Nurse, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire
Sheryl Sheen Nurse, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire
Andrew Ginty Nurse, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire
Melanie Northmore Nurse, Intensive care unit, Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, Lancashire

There is often an overlap between intensive care medicine and palliative medicine. When all curative treatment options have been explored, keeping the patient comfortable and free from pain is the main concern for healthcare practitioners. Patient autonomy in end of life decisions has not been encouraged in the intensive care unit (ICU), until now, because of its specialised and technical nature. Staff at the Royal Bolton Hospital have broken down the barriers to enabling ICU patients to die in their own homes, and have developed a system of collaborative working that can help to fulfil a patient’s final wish to go home. This article describes how ICU staff developed a process that enabled two ventilated patients to be transferred home for end of life care.

Nursing Standard. 29, 5,46-49. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.5.46.e8971

Received: 24 February 2014

Accepted: 21 July 2014

Published in print: 01 October 2014

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review