Palliative care in your hospital

This thought-provoking symposium explored some of the issues related to the provision of palliative care within hospital settings. Session one focused on difficult symptoms – neuropathic pain, dyspnoea and malignant bone pain – and the new techniques and science that inform their management. The theme of delivering targeted, individual care was developed through the sessions, and the challenges of providing equitable, effective care were repeatedly highlighted.

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.