Improving palliative care services: a pragmatic model for evaluating services and assessing unmet need

Wiles, R.; Payne, S.; Jarrett, N.
March 1999
Palliative Medicine;1999, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p131
Academic Journal
Evaluating local palliative care services and identifying gaps in services for patients are crucial to the development of services which enable people to die at home in a well-supported environment. A review of the local strategy for providing respite and support services for palliative care patients and their carers was carried out in one area of south-east England. The review comprised four elements: identification of services available; interviews with provider `stakeholders'; interviews with patients and carers; questionnaire survey of general practitioners and district nurses. The findings and outcome are described. It is suggested that this approach could be adopted by health authorities to form one part of a comprehensive system of needs assessment. Alternatively, it could be used by groups of providers to evaluate existing services and to identify potential improvements to services. Advantages and disadvantages of the approach for both commissioners of such reviews and those carrying them out are discussed.


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