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Promoting end of life care across care homes: the role of the specialist palliative care nurse
  1. Elaine Bird
  1. St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield, UK


In 2008 the NAO undertook a retrospective study for all deaths in Sheffield during October 2007. 58% of these deaths occurred in hospital despite 40% having no medical reason to be there. 19% of deaths occurred in care homes.

Using the Gold Standard diagnostic framework 42% died from frailty, 30% from cancer, 20% chronic disease and 8% were unexpected. The study supported that best practice palliative care, advanced care planning and preferred priorities of care had not been identified or achieved.

The benefits of having a clinical specialist palliative care nurse specifically designated to care homes is to understand the working environment of individual care homes. The role enhances the delivery of palliative care education that reflects the requirements of individual homes and promotes informal education through discussing face to face findings following the specialist assessment of individual residents.

The poster provides evidence for encouraging best practice palliative care for all care home residents, irrespective of diagnosis. It identifies changing patterns in referral and discharges from specialist palliative care services as robust supportive end of life care plans are instigated through discussion with individual residents, their families, care home staff and the wider MDT team. Proposed future developments will also be identified.

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