End of life care for people with a learning disability
Sandra Morton-Nance Hospital liaison nurse specialist in learning disability, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford
Tim Schafer Senior lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford
Aim To explore the experiences of learning disability and district nurses caring for people with a learning disability at the end of their lives.
Method A small-scale semi-structured qualitative study involving interviews was carried out to explore the experiences of healthcare professionals from two specialist healthcare settings.
Findings Healthcare professionals felt that formal guidelines and support were needed in this complex area. The study also revealed that successful provision of palliative care for people with a learning disability requires a person-centred approach.
Conclusion Modifications to existing palliative care services, involving joint working, improved co-ordination and reasonable adjustments, is recommended. This aims to address any inequalities in care provision for people with a learning disability who are at the end of their lives.
This article has been subject to double blind peer review
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