A Unique Approach to Supportive Palliative Care

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The need to provide 24-hour palliative care to those wishing to die at home is both obvious and real. The use of unqualified "professional carers" to provide this care is unique within the literature. Reflexive analysis of the efficacy of a local Palliative Care Respite at Home Service within the United Kingdom revealed services offered by unqualified professional carers proved valuable and beneficial. Little evidence is available to guide practitioners as to the type or richness of service they should provide during palliation. Scant information is available regarding the recommended number and type of visit that should be undertaken. Yet, the service outlined here clearly made a difference to patients' lives because of its unpretentious approach, flexibility, and lack of medicalization. Evidence from this reflective analysis suggests that such services are wanted and needed by users and professionals alike.

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