A better understanding of risks and causes of harm for out of hours palliative care is urgently needed to ensure patient safety, according to a new study funded by terminal illness charity Marie Curie and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) published today.
The study - entitled Quality improvement priorities for safer out-of-hours palliative care - aimed to explore the nature and causes of unsafe care delivered to patients receiving palliative care from primary care services outside normal working hours.
Patients receiving palliative care are often at increased risk of unsafe care with the out-of-hours setting presenting particular challenges.
Commenting on the study's findings, Carole Walford, Chief Clinical Officer at Hospice UK, said:
“It is a real concern that people approaching the end of life are not able to get the round-the-clock care they need.
“It is not acceptable that palliative care grinds to a halt out of hours. This creates unnecessary worry and distress for patients and their families. It puts more pressure on our overstretched health service as more people are forced to seek support in hospitals out of hours when they could receive more appropriate care in other settings.
“Hospices are working with hospitals and care homes to help ensure more integrated working between care providers to ensure that vital care is available to more people whenever they need it and in a place of their choice.”
Notes to editors
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and palliative care.
- For further information about hospice care visit our website www.hospiceuk.org or follow us on Twitter @hospiceuk
- Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: www.ehospice.com/uk
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