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Update - Working group produces palliative care guidelines

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 46, PAGE NO: 40

A multidisciplinary group of respiratory and palliative care professionals has produced palliative care symptom control and referral guidelines for patients with end-stage non-malignant chronic respiratory disease.

A multidisciplinary group of respiratory and palliative care professionals has produced palliative care symptom control and referral guidelines for patients with end-stage non-malignant chronic respiratory disease.

Currently there are no national palliative care guidelines for this group of patients, who have unmet physical, psychological and spiritual needs.

The idea for the guidelines came from the Cheshire Merseyside Integrated Cancer Network, which set up a working group to look at this issue in April 2005.

Denise Williams, respiratory nurse consultant from Wirral Hospital who was involved in the group, said: 'The greatest benefit of the guidelines will be to empower the generalist and raise awareness.

'When a patient is at the end stage of their disease they need to know that they are very ill and they need to be able to make choices. Patients should not have to have a diagnosis of cancer to get good palliative care.'

Ms Williams believes that the guidelines can be adapted for local use in other trusts.

The guidelines are available at www.arns.co.uk.

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