Identification of patients with EoL care needs

EoLC  Word Cloud

Last year EEAST paramedics were invited to participate in a national research survey (PIEOL) on the identification of patients with end of life care (EoLC) needs. The main aim of the PIEOL study was to aims to assess whether ambulance paramedics currently identify EoLC patients, are aware of identification guidance, and believe this role is appropriate for their practice.

The findings of this study have now been published in the British Paramedic Journal ( Open access)

In summary:

• The majority of survey participants stated that they attended a patient who was unrecognised as within the last year of life on at least a monthly basis.
• Most paramedics indicated they had previously made an EoLC referral to a General Practitioner.
• Less than a third were familiar with the Gold Standards Framework Proactive Identification Guidance (GSF PIG) and of those only a quarter had received training in its use.
• Participants overwhelmingly believed that they could and should identify patients with EoLC needs.
• Current barriers to identification included inaccessibility of a patient’s medical records, inadequate EoLC education and communication difficulties.
• Facilitators to EoLC needs patient identification were the provision of training in EoLC assessment guidance and establishing accessible, responsive EoLC referral pathways.
• Provision of EoLC assessment training and dedicated EoLC referral pathways should facilitate ambulance paramedics’ roles in the timely recognition of EoLC patients, potentially addressing current inequalities in access to EoLC.

Published 12th December 2020