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Are hospital admissions for people with palliative care needs avoidable and unwanted?

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Organised by the Palliative and End-of-life Care Group at the Primary Care Unit

Health policy in England, in line with many other resource rich countries, affords low priority to the acute hospital as a place of care for people with a life limiting illness. Admissions are often seen to be ‘inappropriate’ from a clinical perspective and unwanted by patients themselves who, it is often believed, prefer to receive care, and die, ‘at home’. In this presentation I will argue that this understanding is not consistent with existing evidence and that there is an urgent need for more critical reflection on the role of hospitals within a palliative care context.

Professor Merryn Gott specialises in palliative and end-of-life care, with an interest in developing models of care to meet the needs of ageing populations. She directs the Te Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group and is chair of health sciences at the University of Auckland and Visiting Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests are broad reaching, encompassing hospital admissions at the end-of-life; care-home staff preparedness for palliative care provision; and the cultural needs and care preferences of indigenous older people and their family carers. Merryn has received considerable acclaim for her work, including a New Zealand Association of Scientists’ Research Medal, and in 2016 was awarded the NEXT Woman of the Year for Health and Science. We are delighted to welcome her to Cambridge.

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This talk is part of the Primary Care series.

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