This project will interview General Practitioners to explore how they view their roles and responsibilities in the provision of palliative and end of life care for people dying in the community.
About the Project
General Practitioners (GPs), along with community nursing teams and wider palliative care teams provide most of the medical and nursing care for patients who die in the community. GPs view their role in delivering end of life care as important, with continuity of care being identified as vital to the provision of palliative and end of life care for both GPs and patients. Although this area is generally considered to be an important part of GP work, a universal consensus over GPs’ role in end-of-life care is absent, with undefined responsibilities. Roles have previously been described as coordinators of care, supportive MDT member to palliative care specialists, and key worker. UK policies continue to recommend that GPs should be closely involved in providing palliative care in community settings. At the same time the demand for such care is increasing, as the upward trend in community deaths has continued. It is therefore is a crucial time to review GPs’ views of the future of community service provision and their role within it, and to establish how policy around responsibilities for palliative care relates to the everyday experiences of those delivering it.
- What are the current roles and experiences of GP’s delivering palliative and end of life care?
- What are GP’s views on their, and general practices’ future role in palliative and end of life care?
- What are the experience, skills, and educational needs required to fulfil these roles?
- The aim is to explore GP’s views of current and future palliative and end of life care provision in general practice and their roles within it.
- To provide in-depth new knowledge and understanding of the future role of GP’s and general practice in palliative and end of life care.
A qualitative study design using semi-structured telephone or video call interviews with up to 25 UK based GPs. This may including partners, locums, and salaried GPs currently employed within primary care, policy, and commissioning roles.
Data from this study will allow a deeper understanding of the topic, and educational needs of staff delivering care, thus helping to improve services. This qualitative data will also aide in the development of a future UK national survey. The outcomes will help to identify what topic areas the survey will cover, and which stakeholders should be included to ensure inclusivity of perspectives.
Who is involved
Professor Stephen Barclay, Professor of Palliative Care Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge.
Dr Allison Bentley, Research Associate (corresponding researcher) Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge.
Dr Dan Knight, GP & Cambridge Clinical Research Fellow Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge.
Dr Louisa Polak, Visiting Researcher Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge.
Dr Ben Bowers, Research associate & honorary nurse consultant palliative care Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge.