Our latest article looks at how nurses who work in the community supported people at the end of life and their whānau/family. Service integration was our particular focus, and we asked those we interviewed about their experiences with hospice, district and general practice nurses. They talked about community nursing from the perspective of the service they provided. Hospice nursing roles were described in terms of a “talking service” and District Nursing as a “task service.” They had minimal expectations of general practice nurses regarding palliative care support and there was little evidence of service integration.
Our findings support the need for a new integrated model of palliative care nursing. Such a model would draw on the unique skill set of nurses working across all community care settings including general practice, hospice and district nursing services. More flexible policy is needed, that which can accommodate different models of nursing care that are responsive to patient need rather than limited to a defined service delivery model.
The NZ Cancer Research Trust and the A+ Trust funded this research.