The End of Life Care Strategy recommended that terminally ill patients living at home must have access to community out-of-hours end-of-life care services. The Strategy particularly emphasised that rapid-response community nursing services should be made available in all areas, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The lack of end-of-life care out-of-hours services can lead to terminally ill and dying patients who want to be cared for at home being admitted unnecessarily to hospital. The number of out-of-hours end-of-life care services has started to increase. However, there are significant variations in terms of service availability and service quality and patients/carers are still experiencing barriers in accessing out-of-hours community care. This article will highlight how lack of information about the out-of-hours service, inadequate nursing communication skills and poor inter-professional communication can have a negative impact on care. It is suggested that effective information provision early in community palliative care could positively impact out-of-hours palliative/end-of-life care nursing services. Conflicts of interest: none
- Community nursing
- Palliative and end-of-life care
- Preferred place of care
- Rapid-response out-of-hours palliative and end-of-life care
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