Developing a regional model of palliative care provision for Northern Ireland.

Donna Fitzsimons, Sonja McIlfatrick

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Aims: To develop a regional model of palliative care provision for Northern Ireland Background: Palliative care patients present a great challenge to professional service providers, linked with the complex physical needs but also the emotional context in which care is provided. The definition of palliative care was care delivered to any adult in the last 12 months of life. Methods: In order to achieve the aim six main work strands were developed: 1. A comprehensive review of the literature 2. A regional need assessment 3. Professional Consultation achieved by a variety of different activities, such as email discussions (n= 145 delegates), focus groups and interviews (n=87 participants included GPs, District Nurses, Palliative Care Specialists) 4. User consultation comprised of evidence from separate research studies conducted recently in NI. Through the combined efforts of these studies the views of approximately 82 patients, 91 carers (both active and bereaved) and 123 professionals have been sought. 5. District Nursing Shadowing Exercise 6. Consultation Workshop (n=60 participants) Results: Following the review of the data obtained from all the strands of work the key guiding principles and core components of service model were identified. The guiding principles included: Patient and Family Centred Care; Enhanced Community Provision: Care Supported by Specialist & Hospital Provision. The core components of the model were identified as: Timely identification of palliative care needs; Holistic Assessment; Integration of services; Co-ordination of care; End of life & Bereavement Care; and Public and Professional Awareness. Conclusions: The model proposed in this paper provides a framework around which palliative care services can be developed and made more accessible and effective to the growing numbers of people who require them. Recommended reading: NICE (2004) Guidance on Supportive and Palliative Care for Adults with Cancer. Fitzsimons, D., Mullan, D., Wilson, J.S. et al (2007). The Challenge of Patients’ Unmet Palliative Care Needs in the Final Stages of Chronic Illness. Palliative Medicine 21;4, 313 – 322 McIlfatrick, S. (2007). Assessing Palliative Care Needs: Views of Patients, Informal Carers and Healthcare Professionals. Journal of Advanced Nursing 57(1), 77-86
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventThe 2009 Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference : Celebrating 50 years of nursing research: Looking back, moving forward. - Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Mar 200927 Mar 2009


ConferenceThe 2009 Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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