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Definition and evaluation of models of primary and secondary care - collaborative working at the end of life

This study was a multi-centre project led by the University of Edinburgh and involving King’s College London as well as Warwick Medical School. The aim was to define models of generalist end-of-life care in differing settings and to explore co-ordination of care for patients with life-limiting illness.

Each site undertook ethnography in one context: an emergency assessment unit in a large city hospital, a general practice/primary care team and a respiratory clinic in a large university hospital. The ethnography explored how end-of-life care for patients was arranged and delivered in each context.

Following the ethnography, 20 patients were recruited from each site and followed up with serial interviews over a period of nine months. These explored the patients' and their family carers' experiences of care, particularly focusing on how it was co-ordinated. Where possible, healthcare professionals caring for the patients were also interviewed. Examples of how co-ordination could be facilitated and barriers to effective co-ordination were sought.

The report of the outcomes of the study can be viewed here.

Dr Dan Munday (Principal Investigator)