King, Nigel, Bell, Dennise and Thomas, Keri (2004) Family carers' experiences of out-of-hours community palliative care: a qualitative study. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 10 (2). pp. 76-83. ISSN 1357-6321

Carers’ feelings of uncertainty and anxiety can be particularly acute out-of-hours, when they may not have access to familiar sources of professional help and advice. The present study used qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore carers’ experiences of out-of-hours care and support services. Fifteen bereaved carers in the Calderdale and Kirklees area were interviewed, and the interview transcripts analysed thematically. In general, carers felt well supported out-of-hours, especially by the nursing services. They appreciated opportunities to develop some degree of personal relationship with those they saw out-of-hours. However, in some cases problems were apparent. These were associated with poor provision of information, inadequate communication with carers, difficulties in accessing night-sitter services, or the inflexibility of services. The findings underline the importance of primary care practitioners taking an anticipatory approach to community palliative care

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