Many care homes in England do not have nurses on site and rely on visits from GPs and district nurses for primary care and referral to specialist services. A recent study examined expectations and experiences of the responsibility for end-of-life care of older people resident in care homes without nursing staff. Care home staff were found to be often unsure about when to talk to residents about death and when / how to involve relatives.
As it may often be unclear whether responsibility for the provision of end-of-life care rests with the care home staff or external health professionals, this research indicates that formal carers need support to care for frail older people approaching end-of-life, and help with the identification of those residents who are likely to die soon and so should be approached about end-of-life care. The authors recommend that care home staff and health professionals should work together more over time to review and discuss end-of-life care for care home residents.
Who provides end-of-life care in care homes? (Evidence Summary). Nursing Times, April 18th 2014.
This relates to:
Handley, M. Goodman, C. [and] Froggatt, K. [et al] (2014). Living and dying: responsibility for end-of-life care in care homes without on-site nursing provision – a prospective study. Health and Social Care in the Community, January 2014, Vol.22(1), pp.22-9. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).