Research Article

A different kind of day hospital--for patients with preterminal cancer and chronic disease.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 14 October 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1053
  1. E Wilkes,
  2. A G Crowther,
  3. C W Greaves


    A new day hospital has been set up in Sheffield for patients with preterminal cancer and chronic disease. During the first 26 months 197 patients with cancer and 66 chronically sick patients attended. Of the 2701 attendances by patients with cancer, breast cancer accounted for 38%. One hundred and forty of the patients with cancer died, 83% in the terminal-care unit and 12% at home. Ninety per cent of respondents to a questionnaire thought that the support provided was of great importance to both patient and family; and over two-thirds of the patients were said to have benefited from improved control of symptoms. A similar facility could be developed within existing day hospitals without major revenue consequences, and should produce a genuine improvement in care. This study suggests, however, that it would not shorten the terminal stay in hospital.