End-of-life care has historically been poorly organised, with large gaps in provision, depending on geography and diagnosis. Some of these gaps are a result of confusion regarding roles and responsibilities, including those of the GP and general practice. Patients and carers have suffered as a result.
Related document: End-of-life care
What did we explore?
To inform its work, the Inquiry panel commissioned a research project to examine the role of general practice in end-of-life care. End-of-life care considers what high-quality care in general practice might look like, how this might be measured, and what challenges remain for its delivery in general practice. The paper's author is Dr Rachael Addicott, Senior Research Fellow, The King's Fund.
What have we learnt about end-of-life care?
Key issues raised for debate include:
- The importance of maintaining a dynamic database of patients with end-of-life needs, capturing their care preferences.
- The GP’s role in co-ordinating care and communication across the wide range of health and social care professionals involved at end-of-life.
- The need for continuity of GP care provision, especially when patient conditions change, and during out-of-hours periods.
- The involvement of general practice in bereavement care and in minimising the health care risks of carers.
What's your view?
During the inquiry, we asked for your opinions on this care dimension. You can read the comments submitted below.