‘Being a conduit’ between hospital and home: stakeholders' views and perceptions of a nurse-led Palliative Care Discharge Facilitator Service in an acute hospital setting

Munikumar Venkatasalu, Amanda Clarke, Joanne Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims and objectives: To explore and critically examine stakeholders' views and perceptions concerning the nurse-led Palliative Care Discharge Service in an acute hospital setting and to inform sustainability, service development and future service configuration. Background: The drive in policy and practice is to enable individuals to achieve their preferred place of care during their last days of life. However, most people in UK die in acute hospital settings against their wishes. To facilitate individuals' preferred place of care, a large acute hospital in northeast England implemented a pilot project to establish a nurse-led Macmillan Palliative Care Discharge Facilitator Service. Design: A pluralistic evaluation design using qualitative methods was used to seek stakeholders' views and perceptions of this service. Methods: In total, 12 participants (five bereaved carers and seven health professionals) participated in the evaluation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with bereaved carers who used this service for their relatives. A focus group and an individual interview were undertaken with health professionals who had used the service since its inception. Individual interviews were also conducted with the Discharge Facilitator and service manager. Analysis of all data was guided by Framework Analysis. Results: Four key themes emerged relating to the role of the Discharge Facilitator Service: achieving preferred place of care; the Discharge Facilitator as the ‘conduit’ between hospital and community settings; delays in hospital discharge and stakeholders' perceptions of the way forward for the service. Conclusion: The Discharge Facilitator Service acted as a reliable resource and support for facilitating the fast-tracking of end-of-life patients to their preferred place of care. Relevance to clinical practice: Future planning for hospital-based palliative care discharge facilitating services need to consider incorporating strategies that include: increased profile of the service, expansion of service provision and the Discharge Facilitator's earlier involvement in the discharge process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1685
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume24
Issue number11-12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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