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Attitudes to a hospital based terminal care scheme.
  1. C. M. McKee,
  2. G. Rajaratnam,
  3. L. Lessof
  1. Islington District Health Authority, London, UK.


    Two years after the establishment of a terminal care support team, the team perceived that a number of patients were not being referred to them, and many of those seen were referred at a very late stage in their illness. We sent a questionnaire to all clinicians and ward sisters in the district to elicit their knowledge of the team and attitudes to their role. Although most respondents had cared for terminal patients in the previous 6 months, over a quarter were not aware of the existence of the team. The lack of awareness was most common among junior medical staff, many of whom were spending relatively short times in the district. The study indicated a requirement for good communication between terminal care teams and other professionals and a need to inform junior staff about available facilities. A requirement for training in terminal care was also identified.

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