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First published by the Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge.

Community nursing teams have acquired extended roles in palliative and end-of-life care during the pandemic. Despite increased caseloads, they have continued to provide face to face care for dying people at home and in care homes, say researchers in an article published in the British Journal of Community Nursing.

Ben Bowers at the University of Cambridge, writing with Kristian Pollock, Crystal Oldman and Stephen Barclay, describes how radical changes in delivery models for end-of-life care and palliative care in the community have impacted on community nursing. The team emphasise the need for evaluation of the changes, in work funded by NIHR.

With larger numbers of people dying at home and changes in policies and procedures, the researchers explain that district nurses and care home nurses are leading more end-of-life care.

While GPs and specialist palliative care nurses have moved to predominantly remote consultations, community nursing teams have continued to provide face-to-face care for patients and have acquired newly extended roles. They are increasingly able to complete Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) forms, make medical care decisions with remote GP support, and verify expected deaths during the pandemic.

Read the full article:

Read the publication

B Bowers, K Pollock, C Oldman, S Barclay, ‘End-of-life care during COVID-19: opportunities and challenges for community nursing, in British Journal of Community Nursing, 28 December 2020

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Ben Bowers is NIHR SPCR PhD Student at the Cambridge Palliative and End of Life research group, and Queen’s Nurse.

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