Research Article

Audit of terminal care in a general practice.

BMJ 1990; 300 doi: (Published 14 April 1990) Cite this as: BMJ 1990;300:983
  1. A C Blyth
  1. Health Centre, St. Andrews.


    OBJECTIVE--To determine satisfaction of relatives and general practitioners with care of patients during terminal illness and make recommendations on improving terminal care in general practice. DESIGN--Interviews with available relatives of patients who had had terminal illnesses and died in 1987, supplemented by questionnaires; questionnaire survey of general practitioners after review of case notes of all their patients who had died of terminal illnesses in 1987. SETTING--One urban general practice. SUBJECTS--34 Relatives of patients with terminal illnesses who died in 1987; five general practitioners from one practice. RESULTS--In six cases relatives were dissatisfied, mainly because of lack of communication; in eight cases doctors were dissatisfied because of communication, poor symptom control, and inadequate care. IMPLICATIONS--There is a need for improved communication between relatives and the health professionals involved in terminal care as well as better advice on services and benefits available to both patients and relatives. Bereavement counselling should be better organised.