End of life care planning in community hospitals
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End of life care planning in community hospitals

Sally Lawton Professor – nursing (palliative care), NHS Grampian
Liz Towsey Living and dying well facilitator, NHS Grampian
David Carroll Strategic lead for palliative care, NHS Grampian
Gordon Linklater Consultant in palliative medicine, NHS Grampian
Flora Watson Senior charge nurse, NHS Grampian

Sally Lawton and colleagues explain how a project in north east Scotland has highlighted the important role staff have to play in the provision of palliative care

The implementation of a palliative and supportive care plan across community hospitals in the Grampian region of north east Scotland provided an opportunity to confirm the important role staff play in palliative and end of life care. Contact was made with the senior nurse in all 32 wards in the community hospitals and a series of monthly visits arranged. This ensured a staged introduction to the plan to facilitate understanding and implementation. Reviews were collated on 130 deaths (77% of all the deaths during the project). These revealed examples of good practice, as well as the challenges faced by staff working in community hospitals. The results show that staff are often involved in the delivery of palliative care and demonstrate the benefits of providing end of life care to people close to home. The earlier identification of the palliative phase of an illness may encourage further anticipatory care planning.

Primary Health Care. 25, 8,18-23. doi: 10.7748/phc.25.8.18.e993

Correspondence

slawton@nhs.net

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 17 November 2014

Accepted: 22 December 2014