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Hospital care was important for ambulance interviewees because it met the care needs of patients without complex negotiation with other healthcare providers, which staff recognised to be difficult and often not feasible.”
- Dr Sarah Hoare, Research Associate, Cambridge Palliative and End of Life Care Group

Ambulance staff are responding to the needs of dying patients by taking them to hospital because of a lack of alternative community-based forms of care and limited access to patient information, according to a paper published in Palliative Medicine. The study, a sociological analysis of the experiences of ambulance staff attending to patients close to the end of life, was carried out by researchers at the Cambridge Palliative and End of Life Care Group.

SPCR trainee Dr Sarah Hoare led the research which was funded by the NIHR CLAHRC Cambridge and Peterborough and CLAHRC East of England. She carried out an in-depth look at the decision-making of a small number of ambulance staff. The study brings to life the dilemmas that ambulance staff face and shows how they made sense of the situations they encountered. Six ambulance staff were interviewed together with other healthcare staff about their involvement in hospital admissions of patients close to the end of life. Read more.