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An evaluation of a hospice at home service: a questionnaire survey of GP & district nurse referrers
  1. Hazel Blanchard
  1. The Shakespeare Hospice, Stratford-upon-Avon, England


Introduction National recognition of services to provide end of life care and their importance has been increasing over recent years. A questionnaire survey of those referring to a trained nursing hospice at home service was completed as part of the X Hospice's service review.

Aims According to professional referrers – does the hospice meet its objectives and provide appropriate services?

Methods A specifically designed questionnaire was pre-tested and piloted before posting to all professional referrers. The single A4 double sided questionnaire looked at referrer satisfaction, carer/family support and patient referrals.

Results The response rate was 72/110 (65%) but 6 referrers did not consent. 32/34 (94%) of GPs and 19/19 (100%) of District Nurses(DNs) were satisfied or very satisfied with the response time; 32/37 (87%) of GPs and 19/19 (100%) of DNs with team communication and 33/35 (94%) of GPs and 17/18 (94%) of DNs found the team to be always supportive to carers. 50/57 (88%) of referrers felt the service had enabled their patients to die at home. In the free text comments, the support, time and experience of the team were valued. The overnight on-call, night sits and team working with the DN teams were also recognised as strengths, though referrers wanted more night sit availability.

Discussion The results correlate with the literature on Hospice at Home services to date. The evaluation has prompted meetings with GPs and DNs to give an update about the service. It has confirmed the value of the service within the community. The request for more night sits was deemed to be valid.

Conclusion This survey demonstrated that X-Hospice at Home is highly valued by referrers and has enabled appropriate service development in line with their feedback.

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