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N Z Med J. 2012 Jan 25;126(1368):21-5.

Evaluating the outcomes of elderly patients receiving Canterbury District Health Board funded care at the end of life.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Oncology, Haematology and Palliative Care, Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand. Jenny.Chieng@cdhb.govt.nz



To identify the frequency of readmission into the hospital and interventions received by patients who are known to be terminally ill under the SupportCare End-of-life Fund (SC-EOL), a 90 days fund made available to patients who are terminally ill and requires hospital level care in Canterbury. The secondary objective is to determine the survival time after allocation to the SC-EOL funding.


List of patients aged 65 years and older approved on the SC-EOL fund between March to May 2010 is obtained from the coordination centre which handles the services of all SC-EOL funded patients. Using hospital electronic database and medical records, data on demographics, sources of referral, survival, readmissions and associated interventions were recorded.


60 patients were identified. The average age was 80.6 years. 75% had a diagnosis of cancer as their terminal illness. Three of the 60 patients were readmitted to hospital. Two of these were deemed to have been potentially avoidable. These patients underwent routine blood tests and X-rays and received intravenous fluid. The median survival time was 19 days.


The subgroup of patients who has terminal illness under the SC-EOL fund has a low rate of readmission to hospital and inappropriate interventions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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