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Access to specialist palliative care is still inadequate, audit finds

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 31 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1784
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

Just 11% of trusts offer face to face access to specialist palliative care 24 hours a day and seven days a week, an audit of care at the end of life by the Royal College of Physicians has found.1

In its first major audit of the care of dying patients since the axing of the Liverpool Care Pathway in 2014,2 the college found that just 16 of the 137 trusts that submitted data offered 24/7 access to a palliative care specialist. Some 53 of the trusts (37%) offered access from 9 am to 5 pm seven days a week, but while most trusts offered around the clock telephone support from specialist nurses, 26 trusts (19%) had no specialist medical out of …

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