Short-stay, specialist beds in a UK teaching hospital as a model to integrate palliative care into the acute hospital culture

Hospital patients should have access to effective palliative care. In our study, three short-stay beds were re-allocated to specialist palliative care as part of a pilot programme. This paper describes the first 100 admissions of patients with inadequately controlled symptoms or distress. Median pain and distress scores were both seven out of a maximum of 10 (interquartile ranges [IQR] 4–10 and 1–10 respectively), reducing to 3.5 (IQR 1–5) and 0 (0–5) after 48 hours.