Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > 'Thank goodness you're here'. Exploring the imp...

Electronic data


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

'Thank goodness you're here'. Exploring the impact on patients, family carers and staff of enhanced 7-day specialist palliative care services: A mixed methods study: A mixed methods study

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number10
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1484-1497
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/09/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


BACKGROUND: Healthcare usage patterns change for people with life limiting illness as death approaches, with increasing use of out-of-hours services. How best to provide care out of hours is unclear.

AIM: To evaluate the effectiveness and effect of enhancements to 7-day specialist palliative care services, and to explore a range of perspectives on these enhanced services.

DESIGN: An exploratory longitudinal mixed-methods convergent design. This incorporated a quasi-experimental uncontrolled pre-post study using routine data, followed by semi-structured interviews with patients, family carers and health care professionals.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected within specialist palliative care services across two UK localities between 2018 and 2020. Routine data from 5601 unique individuals were analysed, with post-intervention interview data from patients ( n  = 19), family carers ( n  = 23) and health care professionals ( n  = 33; n  = 33 time 1, n  = 20 time 2).

RESULTS: The mean age of people receiving care was 73 years, predominantly white (90%) and with cancer (42%). There were trends for those in the intervention (enhanced care) period to stay in hospital 0.16 days fewer, but be hospitalised 2.67 more times. Females stayed almost 3.5 more days in the hospital, but were admitted 2.48 fewer times. People with cancer had shorter hospitalisations (4 days fewer), and had two fewer admission episodes. Themes from the qualitative data included responsiveness (of the service); reassurance; relationships; reciprocity (between patients, family carers and staff) and retention (of service staff).

CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced seven-day services provide high quality integrated palliative care, with positive experiences for patients, carers and staff.