End-of-life care in community hospitals: The perceptions of bereaved family members

Sheila Hawker*, Chris Kerr, Sheila Payne, David Seamark, Carol Davis, Helen Roberts, Nicola Jarrett, Paul Roderick, Helen Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The perceptions of bereaved family members were obtained to evaluate the nature and quality of end-of-life care in community hospitals. Design: During organizational case studies in six community hospitals in the South East and South West of England, bereaved family members were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews. Participants: Fifty-one interviews were conducted with family members of patients who had received end-of-life care in a community hospital within the previous year. Results: Respondents were very positive about the care they and the patient had received. They valued the convenience of access for frequent and long-stay visiting and the familiarity of the local hospital. Comparisons were made with more negative experiences at their nearest District General Hospital. Issues raised included the noise at the community hospitals, and the lack of contact with qualified nurses. Discussion: The results of this study have implications for UK government initiatives, such as the National Framework for Older People, and the Department of Health's 'Keeping the NHS Local'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2006


  • Bereaved carers
  • Community hospitals
  • End-of-life
  • Older people


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