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‘Just-in-case’ medication boxes for palliative care patients
  1. Linda Dawkins, Macmillan Facilitator
  1. End of Life Care, Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight. Email: lyn.dawkins{at}


Patients with life-limiting illnesses often wish to be treated, or die, at home. However, for individuals who develop new, worsening symptoms or deteriorate unexpectedly out of normal GP working hours the process of, and delay in, obtaining specialist palliative care drugs can cause considerable distress to all concerned and in some cases necessitate admission to secondary care. This article describes the experience of initiating a scheme for the proactive prescribing of a core group of drugs for palliative care patients. The medication is retained in the patient’s own home, with supporting professional and patient information, in anticipation of the need to use them. The process, difficulties and benefits of setting up this project are discussed. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Anticipatory prescribing
  • Community care
  • End-of-life care
  • Gold Standards Framework
  • Palliative care

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