Staff want more training in end-of-life care

Healthcare professionals says they need more training in caring for people close to death in their homes.

A new survey has also found that many GPs are not informing out-of-hours services about patients at home with palliative care needs.

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) says its survey has found a significant desire from healthcare staff for more training in this area.

The survey of 182 professionals found that 66% felt that training in symptom control such as pain and emotional distress would be a useful educational initiative.

It was found that 47% of those surveyed sought training in care of the dying patient at home, and this was particularly favoured by nurses.

A further 31% of those surveyed wanted more education in prescribing in palliative care, and this was identified as a need primarily by GPs.

Another 44% of those surveyed sought training in the area of bereavement support.

The research has also found that one-third of family doctors never informed their out-of-hours service about patients who are in their homes and who have palliative care needs.

The survey was conducted by the IHF in cooperation with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and the HSE.

According to the IHF a further report containing proposed initiatives to help primary care teams respond to end-of-life needs of patients will be published later this year.

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