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P-150 The GP’s role in palliative care: views and experiences of patients with cancer
  1. Emilie Green1,
  2. Heidi Lempp1,
  3. Jane Naismith2 and
  4. Patrick White1
  1. 1King’s College London, London, UK
  2. 2St Joseph’s Hospice, London, UK


Background General practitioners (GPs) are a vital component of palliative care, given their expertise in generalist care, their relationships with patients and families, and their knowledge of available community health and social services. Little is known about how patients understand and experience the role of their GP in delivering palliative care in the community.

Aims To explore patients’ views and experiences of: (i) The role of the GP in providing palliative care to adult patients with cancer; (ii) The facilitators and barriers to the GP’s ability to fulfil this perceived role.

Design Qualitative data were obtained through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Thematic and discourse analysis were undertaken.

Setting/participants Adults with a cancer diagnosis and palliative care needs known to an inner-city hospice.

Results Fifteen participants reported actual and desired constituents of the GP’s role in palliative care provision, such as: prescription management; home visits; care coordination; and emotional support. Multiple perceived facilitators and barriers were identified, relating to: accessibility; continuity; GP’s attitude and interpersonal skills; time and staffing levels; GP’s involvement in diagnosis; and communication between primary and secondary care.

Discussion This study explored patients’ views and experiences of the GP’s role, and the perceived potential facilitators and barriers to its fulfilment. Further work is required to characterise a realistic model of continuous and accessible community palliative care.

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