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The University of Southampton
Complex Healthcare Processes

The impact of variations in out of hours end of life care provision on patient experience, staff and health systems

Published: 5 March 2013

Variations in out of hours end of life care provision across primary care organisations in England and Scotland by J Addington-Hall, K Gerard, S Brien, S Brailsford, C Salisbury, D Heaney, C Todd, M Moore, G Leyden, H England and V Lattimer

Timely access to high quality appropriate end of life care in the out of hours period has been reported to be a key factor in enabling patients at the end of life to be able to remain at home, if this is their wish. Deficiencies in out of hours end of life care have long been recognised.  

Most out of hours end of life care is provided by generalists: health care professionals who, although often expert in their own field, have not had specialist palliative care training.

Before evaluative research can take place information is needed about how this care is currently provided, about variations in service provision, and whether identifiable models of service provision exist from a systems perspective. 

A mixed method study was conducted to explore variations in out of hours end of life care provision across primary care organisations in England and Scotland. The aim was to better understand the complexities of the system and how high quality out of hours care can best be delivered to all end of life patients and families. 

The full final report can be found on the NETSCC website

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