Palliative care in the ED
Today Brigitte the palliative care CNC came to talk to us about palliative care services and referral processes in our area, and provide some resources to assist us with having end-of-life conversations and prescribing in palliative care.
Main learning points for me were:
- We can refer to community palliative care at the time of discharge from ED by faxing a referral form, and we should be doing this if appropriate.
- We do not have an out of hours on-call palliative care service currently at this hospital.
- Prescribing protocols for patients requiring end-of-life medications can be found in the ‘policies and procedures’ desktop icon -> 7. Medications -> ‘Care of the imminently dying adult inpatient’. The opioid conversion chart is also found within this folder.
- Starting the conversation about goals of care/ end of life wishes and needing to bail out, is better than not starting at all and will help the next person who attempts it. Don’t persevere with a conversation that is failing.
Brigitte kindly sent me some useful resources relating to today’s session. Her teaching powerpoint, some communication skills resources and community palliative care referral form can be found below.