Evaluating a specialist palliative care service in a community setting

Cushen-brewster, Noreen, Malloy, Ella, Black, Jane, Strudwick, Ruth, Driscoll-evans, Paul, Zeppetella, Giovambattista and Bengtson, Kelvin (2023) Evaluating a specialist palliative care service in a community setting. British Journal of Healthcare Management, 29 (10). ISSN 1358-0574

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In the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System, a community organisation and a hospice have collaborated to develop an innovative specialist palliative care service in a community hospital. The aim of this service evaluation was to review the specialist palliative care service 2 years after implementation began across the integrated care system.

A multi-method approach was used to evaluate this service. Data were collected from pre-existing datasets on referrals, discharge and service use and described using descriptive statistics to assess how the service was used during the evaluation period (1 April 2019–31 March 2021). Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with 25 patients, carers, staff and other stakeholders. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.

During the 2-year evaluation period, the service recorded 1800 referrals, 189 admissions to specialist beds and 19 712 telephone calls to the 24-hour advice line. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts identified four themes: impact of the specialist palliative care beds, implementation of changes to practice, communication and coordination, and challenges related to providing the service. Overall, patients and carers had very positive views of the quality of care they received. Staff also identified benefits, including access to training and improved morale. Challenges included the limited number of beds and difficulties balancing the care needs of palliative care patients with other patients in the inpatient ward.

The specialist palliative care service promoted collaborative working, leading to enhanced knowledge and skills for staff supporting patients with specialist palliative care needs. The service was well-used and patients and their carers were generally very satisfied with the care they received.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: hospice care, palliative care, palliative nursing, palliative supportive care
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health & Science > Department of Health Studies
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 10:17
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 10:17
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3382

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