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Acute oncology service = Acute palliative service? Early palliative care assessment results from a pilot project in South Wales

Taubert, Mark and Frazer, Ricky 2019. Acute oncology service = Acute palliative service? Early palliative care assessment results from a pilot project in South Wales. Presented at: 16th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Berlin, Germany, 23-25 May 2019. SAGE, 10.1177/0269216319844405

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Background: The National Chemotherapy Advisory Group report 2009 recommends an acute oncology service (AOS) in every UK hospital with an emergency department. Patients discussed in Acute Oncology Service settings are often very unwell, at the start of their cancer journey, and may have multiple challenging symptoms. Aims: Will earlier palliative care intervention in AOS meetings result in an increase in palliative care involvement? As a comparative baseline we used data from Royal Sussex County Hospital, where an acute admission AOS data collection was carried out: in 53 patients with cancer, palliative care were involved in four cases (7.5%). Methods: As part of this project, our palliative care team started to attend AOS meetings at Velindre Cancer Hospital on a daily basis. After initial embedding, a strategy to collect data was designed and an audit cycle was carried out. Results: Through integration of the palliative care team into Acute Oncology Service meetings, key areas of advance care planning were addressed and discussions with patients were planned. Of 100 patients assessed during the AOS reporting period, 80% were not known to a palliative care team/provider. Of all patients analysed, 28% required no palliative input, 29% were signposted to another palliative care team, 27% received same day face to face palliative care review and 16% required verbal advice only to a generalist team member. Advance care planning discussions in the sample of patients who needed some palliative care input were held within a two week time frame in 61% of cases. Discussion: Significant findings included large population (80%) unknown to palliative care services at AOS entry point, but with high level of unmet need. 72% had palliative care needs. 29% had received their cancer diagnosis within the last month. Conclusion: AOS meetings appear to be a valid entry point for referral to palliative services, despite many AOS patients being at the start of their cancer diagnosis.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0269-2163
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2019 15:58

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