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P127 Hospice respite: Moving forwards not backwards
  1. Lindsay Day,
  2. Amanda Gregory and
  3. Paul Read
  1. St. Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley, UK


Anecdotal evidence suggested that respite provision at an independent hospice was dominated by patients with neurological or non cancer diagnoses and that a small number of patients had a disproportionately large amount of respite admissions compared to those with a cancer diagnosis. A service review was undertaken to investigate whether the provision of respite was equitable across all patient groups. A retrospective review of notes identified patients referred for a respite admission within a 12 month period. The individual patient files were scrutinised to obtain relevant data for analysis, including the level of specialist palliative care received prior to admission. Respite provision appeared to attract a fairly equal number of referrals across cancer and non-cancer groups, although the latter were more likely to access multiple episodes of respite. Of the non-cancer groups, those with a neurological condition represented the highest proportion of patients accessing respite. It is likely that these results are due to the longer term, unpredictable nature of non-cancer conditions resulting in increased carer burden and subsequent need for respite care. The care needs of non-cancer patients suggest that a specialist palliative care centre is not necessarily required for respite. It is recommended that: alternative models of respite care are explored for these patients such as nursing home or an increase in home-care packages; the hospice continues to support local nursing home providers in order to facilitate the provision of high quality respite care within our community; during a patient’s first respite admission, an assessment is undertaken to determine the most suitable place for ongoing respite care; respite guidelines to be adjusted to reflect a specified number of admissions per year.

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