Background Hospices need to engage in research to ensure provision of the highest possible quality of palliative and end of life care for patients and families. A hospice collaborated with researchers at a world-leading university on a research project to scope the current landscape of palliative and end of life care needs within their geographical area. A postdoctoral research fellow was recruited in May 2017 to conduct and deliver the research over a period of six months.
Aim(s) The research aims to identify what is happening in the hospice’s catchment area, and establish why these trends are happening.
Methods Routinely collected health and social care data provide an efficient and useful opportunity for evaluating and improving palliative and end of life care services (Davies et al., 2016). Data from ONS, Public Health England and the primary care network will be used to establish:
How many people have died in the hospice’s catchment area since 2014
What these people died from
How many of these deaths did and did not have hospice involvement.
Empirical data collected via qualitative and quantitative research tools will then be used to understand why these trends are happening. Data will be collected from multiple stakeholders and then subjected to systematic thematic analysis. Stakeholders include:
Health care professionals (n=20)
Hospice service users (n=20)
Non-hospice users (n=20)
Wider population (questionnaires accessed via GP practices).
Results Once the research is complete, these findings will inform the hospice’s clinical strategy by providing robust evidence of where direction, activity and resources are most needed. It is anticipated the project will also generate future opportunities for the hospice and research team to develop practical and academic outputs.
Conclusions Hospices and universities can work in partnership to learn about the landscape of end of life care needs in different localities using routine data and qualitative research.
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