“Improving integrated team working to support people to die in the place of their choice”
(Nursing Times, 2010)
End of life care is about supporting people with advanced, incurable, progressive illness, to enable them to live as well as possible until they die, and to die with dignity. It is a holistic approach that looks after the whole person by offering care to relieve pain and other symptoms, as well as providing emotional and psychological support, for the patient and their family in the final stages of life (NHS Choices, 2014). With as many as 63% of the UK population prefering to receive end of life care in their own home, (Dying Matters, 2012) community nurses are in an ideal position to deliver this care. This involves making sure a patient’s symptoms are managed well, that compassionate communication is offered and an individual’s wishes are understood (Pender & Pearce, 2012, p4). This essay will be looking at the above titled article from the Nursing Times (2010), about a team of community nurses and GPs in East Anglia that wanted to change the way they practiced to support choices for adults in end stage of life. It will firstly outline what the article is about and will go on to discuss what it teaches us about community nursing and its role in end of life care.
Motivated by the fact that although many people express a wish to die at home, few do so (Bowers et al, 2010, p14), this article describes the way one team of healthcare professionals used existing ‘end of life care tools’ to change the way they practice and work together, to help adults with terminal illness die in a place of their choice. It begins with evidence that suggests end of life care delivered in the UK does not reflect the wishes of patients overall, and proposes that changes need to be made to improve this (Bowers et al, 2010, p14). This evidence includes reflection of the teams’ experiences, where care had not been well planned, and mortality statistics from the...