Background: Palliative care day services (typically known as “day hospices”) are provided routinely across Europe. Due largely to the historically localised nature of development, there is wide variability in the organisation and content of services, which militates against strategic planning and development.Aims: We aimed to address this knowledge deficit by identifying core service provision within one country by mapping three regional providers of palliative care day services. Methods: A retrospective, observational study design, using the Donabedian quality framework, involved two components. Firstly, a review of local policy and operational documents at each site provided information on the structure of each service (how care is organised). This covered four key areas: service organisational structure; funding arrangements and expenditure; staffing and management structure, and; other information relevant to estimating the costs of service delivery. Secondly, a retrospective review of the clinical records of patients referred to the service at each site delivered information on the process of care (what is provided). Using reported attendance figures, cases were randomly selected according to a proportionate regime. Results: The review covers key features of: the local-level patient populations, including socio-economic and diagnostic profile; referral, allocation and discharge; all interventions offered; service uptake, and; contextual information onpatient circumstances, need and preferences for care. Itdelivers a comprehensive body of evidence concerning thestructure and process of UK palliative care day services.Conclusions:Our study makes a fundamental contributionto a previously limited evidence base on the organisation,content and mechanisms of delivery of palliative care dayservices.
- Palliative Day Care