New report asks why doctors find it so hard to talk to patients about dying

New report asks why doctors find it so hard to talk to patients about dying

The RCP’s latest report, Talking about dying: How to begin honest conversations about what lies ahead, has just been published. Good to have evidence which supports the importance of our respective hospice education and placement opportunities for Doctors.

Based on conversations with doctors at all levels, patients and carers, and medical organisations, the report reveals the barriers that stand in the way, offers solutions and resources to help, including a ‘mythbusting section’ debunking common but erroneous beliefs. Four English hospitals leading the way in supporting end-of-life care conversations have contributed good practice case studies to the report.

The key recommendations from the report are below:

  • Ask the patient if they would like to have the conversation and how much information they would want.
  • All healthcare professionals reviewing patients with chronic conditions, patients with more than one serious medical problem or terminal illness, should initiate shared decision making including advance care planning in line with patient preferences.
  • Conversations about the future can and should be initiated at any point. The conversation is a process not a tick-box, and does not have to reach a conclusion at one sitting.
  • Be aware of the language you use with patients and those they have identified as being important to them, and try to involve all the relevant people in agreement with the patient.

Read more about the report

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Written by

Sally Garbett

Date

19, October 2018

Category

About the Author


Sally Garbett

Sally Garbett

Apprenticeship lead and Vocational Programmes Manager , St Christopher's Hospice

Sally Garbett is the Apprenticeship lead and Vocational Programmes Manager at St Christopher’s where her role is to manage and develop apprenticeships and the vocational education and qualifications offered to external and internal staff. Sally has been involved in Apprenticeships since 1995 and most recently in the development of the healthcare standards, including the Nursing Associate role. Prior to working for St Christopher’s Sally was a freelance consultant and has over twenty five years' experience in qualification development, regulatory activities and delivery. She is also a licensed and qualified user of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to develop teams and individuals.

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