Background Following a gradual but consistent increase in requests from within Castlemaine Health, a review of service provision by the Community Palliative Care Service (CPCS) was undertaken to determine a sustainable level of support to Primary Care Services.
Aim Although this is a small rural service, the CPCS should provide support to primary care services during an episode of a person's care. This includes promotion of a palliative approach across all care settings and to the community in general.
Methods Data for the previous 2 years was reviewed to identify episodes of shared care or consultation to primary care providers; Key stakeholders interviewed and responses grouped into themes of need/support; Education provided and evaluated; Stakeholder review to determine perceived benefit.
Results The number of shared care or ‘consultation’ episodes was not reflected in the data due to limited reporting fields and inconsistency of data entry. Stakeholders agreed that palliative care occurs across all settings but recognition by primary care staff continues to be low. There was a perceived need to increase staff confidence in abilities, recognising transition of care (phases) and reviewing Advance Care Plans. Two education programmes were provided with 47 staff attending. On 10 point scale there was a shift of +2/+2.2 respectively in knowledge of after education.
Discussion Access to Palliative Care Staff on a regular basis increases staff confidence within Primary Care Services.
Conclusion Increased support and direct promotion of the Palliative Care Service is beneficial for assessment and care planning across Primary Care Services.
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