Background Existing palliative care identification tools focus on health professionals. This has resulted in people with frailty, long-term conditions and organ failure being under-represented on GP palliative care registers. Listening to families and staff working in social care we recognised that they could identify decline, but lacked a common language to discuss this with a health professional.
Aims To design a tool for social carers, family and patients to help them identify more people who could benefit from supportive and palliative care. To empower them by writing this tool in accessible language so they can express their concerns about unmet needs to health professionals.
Methods We identified the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT http://www.spict.org.uk) as a starting point after discussions with the programme lead. SPICT is an internationally recognised, evidence-based tool that uses established clinical indicators of deteriorating health for identification. We created a new version of SPICT and circulated this to 14 public groups in Lincolnshire. These consisted of over 300 members and represented a wide variety of interest. Based on consultation and feedback over several cycles, SPICT in ‘non-medical’ language was developed. Only a few medical terms with no suitable equivalent remain. The SPICT programme team in Edinburgh and colleagues who are part of the online SPICT community also contributed to the final version. We now have a version acceptable to all potential users which we called SPICT-4ALL
Results SPICT-4ALL was published in June 2017. It is designed to make it easier for everyone to recognise and talk about signs that a person’s overall health may be declining and consider anticipatory/advance care planning. It will improve identification of people with non-cancer illnesses in particular and empower families and carers in all settings.
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