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Palliative care improvements needed

4th January 2006

Standards of extended palliative care need to be improved to ensure that people are happy to use the services and have access to the relevant information.

Views expressed in a recent survey carried out among carers, patients and those working in the sector indicated that they would like community palliative care to be more organised.

Taking a more integrated and multidisciplinary approach would help to reach those who need the services the most, reports Medical News Today.

The survey found that many carers were worried about using the out-of-hours services as they did not want to bother the doctor and that patients often found the care impersonal.

However, respondents did recount positive experiences of the community care services, explaining that effective planning, sympathetic staff and access to information was important.

Dr Alison Worth, lead researcher of the study, which was published in the British Journal of General Practice, added that good communication could help to ensure continuity of care and that healthcare professionals needed to be provided with extra support and resources.

"Equitable access to a range of health and social care professionals and support staff across the UK may well demand additional resources, particularly for district nurses," Dr Worth said.