Background Providing care for our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic required a rapid shift to video consultations (VCs). A service evaluation was performed to capture hospice professionals’ (HPs) and patients’ experiences of VC.
Methods Online or postal surveys were sent to HPs and patients, who had participated in VC between March and July 2020, focusing on their experience and satisfaction with the service.
Results 31 responses from HPs were received. 19 (61.3%) rated their experience of VC as good, despite 29 (93.5%) having no prior VC experience. One-third of HPs had undertaken potentially sensitive consultations, including resuscitation discussions. 23 (74.2%) undertook a VC that included a family member and 18 (58.1%) had included an external healthcare professional. 25 (80.6%) wanted to offer VC as an option going forward. Well-being staff successfully provided multiple group support sessions via video. 26 responses from patients (23) and carers (3) were received. 22 (84.6%) had access to a smartphone. 8 (30.8%) included a family member in their consultation. All patients/carers reported satisfaction with their VC, although 10 (38.5%) expressed a preference for face-to-face consultations. 22 (84.6%) patients would be happy to receive care via VC going forward and 21 (80.8%) stated they would recommend the use of VC to others.
Conclusion Patients reported VC to be an acceptable way to receive support from a hospice service and HPs would like to continue to offer VC in the future. VC can be offered as an alternative to face-to-face consultations with the potential to continue and improve access to a wide range of hospice services.
- service evaluation
- hospice care
- supportive care
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Contributors All authors contributed to the design of the service evaluation. SM collected the data. SM analysed the data with guidance from JT. SM led on writing the paper, while JP, JB and JT contributed to drafting and critical revision of the manuscript. All approved the final version for publication.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.