‘Necessity is the mother of invention’:Specialist palliative care service innovation and practice change in response to COVID-19. Results from a multinational survey (CovPall)

, CovPall Study Team and Dunleavy, Lesley and Preston, Nancy and Bajwah, Sabrina and Bradshaw, Andy and Cripps, Rachel and Fraser, Lorna and Maddocks, Matthew and Hocaoglu, Mevhibe and Murtagh, Fliss EM and Oluyase, Adejoke and Sleeman, Katherine and Higginson, Irene J. and Walshe, Catherine (2021) ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’:Specialist palliative care service innovation and practice change in response to COVID-19. Results from a multinational survey (CovPall). Palliative Medicine. ISSN 0269-2163

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Abstract

Background: Specialist palliative care services have a key role in a whole system response to COVID-19, a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is a need to understand service response to share good practice and prepare for future care. Aim: To map and understand specialist palliative care services innovations and practice changes in response to COVID-19. Design: Online survey of specialist palliative care providers (CovPall), disseminated via key stakeholders. Data collected on service characteristics, innovations and changes in response to COVID-19. Statistical analysis included frequencies, proportions and means, and free-text comments were analysed using a qualitative framework approach. Setting/participants: Inpatient palliative care units, home nursing services, hospital and home palliative care teams from any country. Results: Four hundred and fifty-eight respondents: 277 UK, 85 Europe (except UK), 95 World (except UK and Europe), 1 missing country. 54.8% provided care across 2+ settings; 47.4% hospital palliative care teams, 57% in-patient palliative care units and 57% home palliative care teams. The crisis context meant services implemented rapid changes. Changes involved streamlining, extending and increasing outreach of services, using technology to facilitate communication, and implementing staff wellbeing innovations. Barriers included; fear and anxiety, duplication of effort, information overload and funding. Enablers included; collaborative teamwork, staff flexibility, a pre-existing IT infrastructure and strong leadership. Conclusions: Specialist palliative care services have been flexible, highly adaptive and have adopted low-cost solutions, also called ‘frugal innovations’, in response to COVID-19. In addition to financial support, greater collaboration is essential to minimise duplication of effort and optimise resource use.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Palliative Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Subjects:
ID Code:
151824
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
17 Feb 2021 14:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
20 Apr 2021 05:38