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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2003 Jun;9(6):258-64.

Dying at home: a care pathway for the last days of life in a community setting.

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Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Gordon Lane, Nr Chester CH2 4DG, UK.


The Cancer Nursing Strategy (Department of Health (DoH), 2000a) expects nurses at senior level to lead the way in improving the organization and delivery of cancer care. Lack of forward planning can be a feature of community palliative care, and may lead to inappropriate crisis admission in the last days despite patients and relatives expressing a wish to stay at home. This article attempt to demonstrate how, though collaboration and effective team working, issues and/or problems encountered in the last days of life were managed by developing and promoting a care pathway for the last days of life. Although based on Ellershaw's pioneering work, this pathway was developed specifically for use in the community to reflect and address the particular problems encountered in this setting when caring for dying patients.

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