Kerr, C., Hawker, S., Payne, S., Lloyd-Williams, M. and Seamark, D.
Out of hours medical cover in community hospitals: implications for palliative care
International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 12, (2), .
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Background: The new General Medical Services contract in England means many GPs have transferred out-of hours work to
their primary care organization, with implications for continuity of
palliative care in community hospitals.
Aim: To examine existing arrangements for out-of-hours medical
cover in community hospitals, focusing on palliative care.
Methods: Telephone survey of community hospital managers/
senior nurses across England and Wales.
Results: Interviews (n = 62) revealed nursing staff were satisfied
with existing out-of-hours care. Concern was expressed about thefuture of out-of-hours medical care from GPs as new services willcover larger areas, meaning unknown doctors may attend, taking longer to arrive.
Conclusion: Arrangements for out-of-hours medical cover in
community hospitals are in transition, threatening the continuity of care for dying patients.
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