We’re “lucky” to have a good GP


Michal won a prize for her poster at the European Association of Palliative Care Conference which presented findings from her ELDER project. The poster explored the views of GPs, Aged Residential Care staff, and bereaved families regarding the role of GPs in ARC. This is (surprisingly) a very under-explored area – and obviously a very important one. Key findings were that:

  1. GP age and life experience shaped perceptions and skill for end of life care in RAC
  2. Most GPs only had on the job experience with no formal training in dementia or end of life care prior to working in RAC
  3. GPs were ‘surprised’ at the satisfaction they gained in providing RAC services
  4. GP’s ability to trust registered nurses assessment and clinical expertise is key
  5. Family expectations often don’t match what GPs can offer
  6. Hospice was used sparingly and only as ‘back up

The conclusion was:

Specific training for end of life care in RAC, especially for those with dementia, currently appears to be ad hoc and informal. A more formal approach to prepare and support GPs for RAC end of life care is needed. Innovations in the traditional GP model of care could improve services for those dying in RACs

A paper describing these findings more fully is currently under review so watch this space….!




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