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26 Psychiatry & palliative care: meeting inter-professional, multi-disciplinary educational needs
  1. Daniel Hughes,
  2. Sarah Yardley and
  3. Katie Weatherstone
  1. Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust


Introduction There is increasing evidence of higher rates of psychiatric disorder in palliative care patients. Navigating between palliative and psychiatric services can be challenging, and links between these specialities need to be strengthened to improve patient care and develop cross-disciplinary learning. Appropriate educational and networking opportunities for professionals to explore these issues has been limited.

Methods Recognising an unmet educational need, a ‘psychiatry in palliative care’ study day was provided in 2018 (78 delegates) and 2019 (121 delegates), both were oversubscribed. All delegates were asked to complete an anonymous online questionnaire rating each topic, describing what was most and least useful; and how likely they would be to attend subsequent study days (completion rate 69/78 in 2018, 84/121 in 2019).

Results Delegates were from a variety of healthcare backgrounds, disciplines and geographical regions with differing training levels. Across both years, reflecting learning needs, topics highly commended as extremely or very useful included ‘personality disorder’ (77/84, 91.6%), ‘treating delirium and dementia in palliative care’ (65/84, 77.3%) and ‘depression and psychosis in palliative care’ (57/69 82.6%). 142/153 (92.8%) of participants across both days were extremely/very likely to attend subsequent events and/or recommend to a colleague. Qualitative feedback endorsed the value of interactive sessions and sharing learning about practical care and relationship building for service development. The event prompted development of a special interest module for psychiatry trainees embedded in palliative care teams, which is now in its second year, and sharing of audit tools to assess levels of combined palliative and psychiatric patient needs within palliative care services.

Conclusion These were important national learning events for best practice. We will continue, increasing capacity for 2020. Our next study day will focus on latest advances in research, advice on setting up mental health support and risk assessment in the palliative care setting.

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