An evaluation of the activity of a 7-day, nurse-led specialist palliative care service in an acute district general hospital

Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care.
International journal of palliative nursing 03/2013; 19(3):148-50. DOI: 10.12968/ijpn.2013.19.3.148
Source: PubMed


This report describes the activity of a new 7-day-per-week, nurse-led palliative care service in an acute district general hospital in the UK.

The service is based in a hospital with an integral cancer centre. On the weekends, one clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is present within the hospital, with a consultant providing telephone support. The data for this report was obtained by reviewing the team's clinical database and the patients' individual clinical assessments.

During the first year, the CNSs undertook 651 face-to-face weekend consultations. Overall, 25% of the total consultations and 18% of new patient consultations were undertaken on the weekends. The primary reasons for reviewing patients on the weekends were pain (46%), other symptoms (27.5%), and patient on the Liverpool Care Pathway (17%). Overall, 23% of new patients died over the weekend or in the early hours of the Monday morning.

This service evaluation provides evidence of the value of having a 7-day-per-week palliative care service in an acute district general hospital.

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