Background The need to support patient choice in terms of preferred place of care and to ensure access to high quality palliative care for all individuals in all settings is recognised in UK policy (DH 2010; WAG 2008). However, people from minority ethnic communities are underrepresented in their utilisation of, and access to, palliative care services, with growing evidence that their palliative care needs are not being met (Bosma et al. 2010; Coupland et al. 2011; Evans et al. 2012; Worth et al. 2009). In September 2012, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund, a hospice in South Wales appointed a key worker to engage with local minority ethnic groups, hospice staff and healthcare providers to improve access to palliative care. This study has been informing and evaluating the impact of the project over a three year period.
Methods To date, semi-structured interviews have been undertaken with the keyworker, hospice staff (n = 14), and members of community organisations (n = 7) at baseline and 30 month follow up. Two focus groups have been conducted with the project steering group. Interview and focus group data are analysed for key themes. Project documents have been analysed to corroborate and complement findings from stakeholder interviews.
Results This presentation reports on final evaluation results. It describes in detail the extensive work of the keyworker in the following domains; community engagement; creating an inclusive hospice environment; supporting patients and referral, access and monitoring processes. A number of key impacts have been identified which include; raised awareness amongst hospice staff and improved facilities at the hospice; increased awareness of, and familiarity with hospice and community nursing services amongst local BAME communities; increased uptake of services amongst BAME groups and practice sharing and involvement in national initiatives by the keyworker. Recommendations will be made for future work in this area.
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