• Evaluate the improved value that NHS 111 can provide to palliative care patients and their families by utilising specialist palliative care nurses within urgent and emergency care

      Bradley, Alison; Littlewood-Prince, Michela; Kaushal, Usha; Mitchell, Kathryn; Leyland, Claire; Wanstall, Judith; Cooper, Nicholas; NHS 111 (2016-09)
      Introduction NHS111 Yorkshire and Humber, using the 4C’s framework to review Concerns, Complaints, Compliments and Comments became aware of issues regarding ‘delays’ to care for palliative care patients. We conducted a systematic review of palliative care services to identify areas for improvement. Aims To improve the value that NHS111 could provide to palliative care patients by understanding pathways for palliative care, testing the use of specialist palliative resources, developing ideas for technology developments, enhancing access to medicines through the use of pharmacists and to understand how NHS111 can work to enhance out-of-hours palliative care services in the region. Methods Intelligence was gathered to identify the current position to support palliative patients. Interventions were designed to provide new and improved ways of working. Palliative Nurses were employed for 5-weeks during out-of-hours and training provided to the wider healthcare team. Results Analysis of the results allowed further improvements to the provision of 24-hour care and out-of-hours provision. Higher levels of demand were experienced during weekend hours and at the start of a Bank Holiday periods. Palliative Care Nurses were also able to provide high levels of self-care’ advice without requiring onward referral. Conclusions We directly identified empirical evidence and delivered a range of benefits which support the ‘Dying without Dignity’ report and provided recommendations to directly address the issues of poor symptom control, inadequate out of hour’s service and poor care planning. Furthermore Training and Development for NHS 111 staff in palliative care matters was further enhanced with the development of a palliative care e-learning package. https://spcare.bmj.com/content/6/3/406.1 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjspcare-2016-001204.57
    • Improving patient care - the Leeds dedicated palliative care ambulance service

      Borrill, Deborah; Colam-Ainsworth, Will (2014-03)
      Background Leeds have benefited from a bespoke palliative care ambulance service since 2007 when work done with Marie Curie and the “Delivering Choice” programme highlighted the need for the service. Early consultation with stakeholders identified that a lack of appropriate ambulance transport can be one of the factors that restricts or prevents the fulfilment of a patient’s previously expressed wish to die in the place of their choice. Aim The aim of the dedicated palliative care ambulance service is to provide flexible, prompt, safe and comfortable transport to patients moving to a place of their choice towards the end of life and to those needing palliative treatments and investigations. Method The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team, Leeds Commissioners, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Leeds Hospices and Leeds Community Health worked closely together at a local level to improve the present palliative care ambulance service. Leeds commissioners have now funded a second ambulance to run on weekdays, covering the busiest times and new dedicated crews have been recruited and trained by the local hospice. Results This service will benefit patients, carers, healthcare professionals and healthcare providers by: Helping patients achieve their choice for place of care by reducing delays in discharge caused by restrictions to transport Ensuring appropriately trained ambulance personnel will provide quality care services to patients at the end of life during transportation Providing effective ways of working with professionals Providing better coordination and connectivity between hospital, hospice, community and ambulance services Conclusion In providing patients with choice in place of care at the end of life, whilst improving service provision, it is expected that the number of patients dying at home will increase. Future plans are to monitor present demand with a view to expanding the service further to support the transfer of palliative patients in Leeds. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1783985419/fulltextPDF/EBB9E264BEB34F77PQ/1?accountid=48092. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjspcare-2014-000654.21
    • Pain: highlighting the law and ethics of pain relief in end-of-life patients

      Parkinson, Martin (2015-07)
      Abstract published with permission. As the world of palliative medicine is rapidly becoming a fixture in the pre-hospital field of practice, this article looks to explore the ethical and legal issues surrounding pain relief for end-of-life patients by paramedics. Particular attention is focused on the moral and ethical principles of care as proposed by Beauchamp and Childress (2008), as well as the legal aspects of care as set out by the European Court of Human Rights. Through the use of law cases, this article looks to demonstrate precedence for practice, as well as the implications that arise thereof. This article concludes that, although many aspects are still a grey area for paramedics, the depth of law cases, alongside the moral arguments, show that providing paramedics act with the best interests of the patient at heart and work within a multi-disciplinary team, the administration of analgesia to prevent suffering can be legally and ethically proven.
    • Palliative emergencies in the pre-hospital setting

      Parkinson, Martin (2014-10)
      Abstract published with permission. Objective: To provide a narrative on the most common palliative emergency situations that requires the attendance of a paramedic. This narrative looks specifically at pain, seizures and breathlessness, and critiques the underpinning evidence supporting their treatment and protocols. Discussion: Pain—the presence of pain in palliative care is highly prevalent with up to 70% of patients living in a permanent painful state. Clinician-led pain assessment has been shown to underestimate the patient’s pain by as much as 60–68% and none of the assessment tools used are fully inclusive. Further research is needed to formulate an assessment tool that recognises palliative pain as a progressive disorder requiring constant assessment. Seizures—Seizures occur as either a result of disease progression or as a side effect of medications. Studies have shown that intramuscular midazolam is more effective than intravenous lorazepam, which is itself more effective than intravenous diazepam. The ease of administration of intramuscular and buccal midazolam for out-of-hospital use should make midazolam the first-line treatment for palliative care patients that suffer from seizures. The implication for future paramedic practice highlighted from these studies is the need for more research in the treatment of palliative patients with seizures. Breathlessness—Cold facial stimulation has been shown to be very effective as a non-pharmacological treatment for breathlessness. Opioids help to relax the patient which aid in regulating breathing patterns although a consensus on the route of administration which provides the best possible effect is yet to be reached. The evidence base for the use of anxiolytics is weak and some studies have shown no beneficial effect to their use. Although anxiolytics are effective in reducing anxiety their effectiveness in helping breathlessness in palliative patients is questionable. Home oxygen should be adopted as a first line treatment according to experts working in end-of-life care, and treatment of oxygen should not be delayed by waiting for results of other trials for other treatments.
    • UK ambulance services: collaborating to provide good end-of-life care

      Stead, Sarah; Datta, Shirmilla; Hill, James; Smith, Richard; Nicell, Claire (2018-05)