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P-4 Family experiences relating to end of life care for patients with COVID-19 related respiratory failure
  1. Rodanthe Nixon,
  2. Bonnie Benoiton,
  3. George Noorland,
  4. William Parry-Jones,
  5. Ruari McGowan,
  6. Sindhu Naidu and
  7. Ebun Abarshi
  1. Bartshealth NHS Trust


Introduction Issues of resource allocation, visitation restrictions and infection control inevitably impacted the experience for relatives of patients who died due to COVID-19.

Methods We conducted telephone consultations with the next-of-kin (NOK) of patients admitted to the respiratory HDU ward at Whipps Cross Hospital who did not survive their admission. This focused on a 19-week period between 17/09/2020-30/01/2021. Patients transferred to ITU were excluded.

Results Out of 84 patients who did not survive their admission we were able to conduct a telephone interview with 53 NOK relatives. 34 (64%) relatives reported an overall positive experience relating to end-of-life care on the ward and 19 (36%) had a negative experience. 23 (43%) reported they were concerned about visiting due to the risk of acquiring infection and in fact 12 (23%) opted not to visit for this reason. 36 (68%) felt they were kept well informed by the medical team. 14 relatives (34% of those who visited) felt that PPE negatively impacted on their experience. 22 (53% of those who visited) felt the restriction on visitor numbers negatively impacted their experience and a similar number felt the ward environment negatively impacted on their experience. Out of the 24 relatives who had experienced a death before, 19 reported that visiting limitations were the main difference and this had had a negative impact. Relatives were invited to make general comments about what negatively impacted their experience and the most commonly recurring answer was the hospital-acquired nature of the infection (6 cases) and poor communication (5 cases). In the case of relatives with a positive experience, good nursing care was most commonly self-reported as having an impact (8 cases).

Discussion This data highlights the challenging nature of end-of-life care in the COVID pandemic era and reveals some of the difficulties families faced under the circumstances.

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