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'Oh God, not a Palliative': out-of-hours general practitioners within the domain of palliative care

Taubert, Mark and Nelson, Annmarie 2010. 'Oh God, not a Palliative': out-of-hours general practitioners within the domain of palliative care. Palliative Medicine 24 (5) , pp. 501-509. 10.1177/0269216310368580

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To date, the experiences of out-of-hours general practitioners with regard to palliative care patients and their management are yet to be evaluated, since the new General Medical Services contract came into force. In 2007 the National Institute for Health Research highlighted the need to identify factors that improve and hinder the delivery of optimum palliative out-of-hours care. By interviewing general practitioners who work out-of-hours shifts, this project explored factors influencing confidence in dealing with symptom control and palliative care provision outside regular working hours. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine out-of-hours general practitioners employed by Serco. Interviews were conducted by a specialist doctor in palliative care who had in the past worked as an out-ofhours general practitioner. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. General practitioners expressed concerns relating to constraints within the system provided by the private company-owned out-ofhours provider. Data from interviews was thematically very rich and brought out many different subject areas, some similar to previous interviews, some different. Sub-themes related to the process-driven aspects of working in outof- hours: - Motivation - Time-pressure constraints and continuity - The out-of-hours doctor within the domain of palliative care - Isolation within system General practitioners stated that their motivation was mainly financial. There was clear concern about the lack of continuity, and inadequacy of notes and follow-up, and there was a demonstrated need for more learning on the topic of palliative care. Pressure from the out-of-hours provider to see more patients was felt to be oppositional with the need to spend adequate time with this vulnerable patient group. General practitioners felt as unwanted strangers who were viewed with suspicion by patients and carers in palliative care situations. It was clear that most of the doctors interviewed felt a strong sense of isolation when working out-of-hours shifts, and some felt less inclined to contact specialist palliative care services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: After hours; interpretative phenomenological analysis; isolated working; new GMS contract; out-of-hours; palliative
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0269-2163
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2018 13:31

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