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Gosport may have a negative impact on end of life care in general practice

SPCR GP Career Progression Fellow Lucy Pocock and researchers from the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol have highlighted the potentially negative impact the deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital may have on end-of-life care delivered at home.

In an Editorial published in the British Journal of General Practice today, they call for better training for GPs and community nurses to address any anxieties they may have about prescribing and administering opioids for pain relief to terminally ill patients.

The inquiry into the deaths found that ‘the lives of over 450 people were shortened as a direct result of the pattern of prescribing and administering opioids.’

The researchers argue that concerns among the public and health professionals over the use of opioids at the end of life and myths around their role in hastening death continue, despite evidence that the appropriate use of opioids for symptom control does not shorten life. Read the news.

Read the editorial in BJGP

Now Gosport: what next? Lucy PocockKaren ForbesColette Reid and Sarah Purdy. Br J Gen Pract 16 July 2018; bjgp18X698393. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp18X698393