Author(s): Wilson IM, Bunting JS, Curnow RN, Knock J
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Abstract Inpatient facilities in palliative care units are generally considered to be mainly for cancer patients. We present and discuss the results of a survey that attempted to estimate the number of noncancer patients requiring inpatient palliative care. Questionnaires sent to all general practices in the Thames Valley area asked about the diagnosis and the number of bed-days that would have been required for each noncancer patient in the practice dying in the last year or still in their care. The replies suggest that about 11 noncancer patients per practice per year were in need of respite or continuing care. For the Thames Valley area this would amount to at least 66,000 bed-days per year for noncancer patients, compared with the current provision, mainly for cancer patients, of about 40,000 bed-days per year. The diagnoses involved and the reasons why our figures may overestimate need, are discussed. There can be no doubt that, if the need is to be met, current facilities will be inadequate and additional beds and services will be required.
This article was published in Palliat Med
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology