Background Trials have proved the benefits of early Palliative Care involvement in Oncology care, such as improved quality of life, better understanding of disease and better symptom control. Based on these we have introduced a new model of Integrated Palliative Care at the Royal Marsden - the ‘Triggers’ service since March 2017. It involves the use of a palliative care referral ‘Triggers’ tool to triage patients‘ palliative care needs. This tool was designed by the London Cancer Alliance Palliative Care and End of Life Care Pathway Group, now RM Partners.
Methods A feedback questionnaire was devised with patient input to assess the impact of the service for patients and staff in the clinics offering the Integrated Symptom Control and Palliative Care Service(ISCPC). The results are used as part of the continuous service quality improvement process. Descriptive analysis of the questionnaire responses and thematic analyses of the free text comments was carried out. This project was approved as a service evaluation by the Hospital Committee for Clinical Research.
Results Feedback collected from 42 staff and 88 patients in the Gynaecology, Renal, Gastro-Intestinal and Lung Oncology clinics currently using the ISCPC service.
93% staff felt positive about the value of this service for patients and families.
93% staff felt the service had a positive impact on patients.
90% patients felt positive about meeting the ISCPC team during their clinic appointment.
91% patients found the service helpful in improving their care experience.
Themes emerging on initial free text comment analyses include an improved care and support experience for the patients and an increasing demand for early integration of palliative care into oncology services.
Conclusions Staff and patient feedback about the ISCPC service in Oncology Clinics was largely positive. They felt that the ISCPC service had improved their overall care experience.
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