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A study from Oxford University has looked at how out-of-hours GP services are being used to support patients dying at home.

Photo of man being examined by doctor at home © Monkey Business Images - Shutterstock
Photo of man being examined by doctor at home

In a service evaluation published in the British Journal of General Practice, Rebecca Fisher, Daniel Lasserson and Gail Hayward worked with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to look at the use of the GP out-of-hours service for Oxfordshire over four years, finding that at least 1 in every 100 contacts was for palliative – end-of-life – care.

Dr Rebecca Fisher said: 'Out-of-hours services cover more than two-thirds of the hours in a year (from 6.30pm to 8am daily and 24/7 at weekends and bank holidays). Despite this, until now, no one had looked at how patients with palliative care needs use out-of-hours services.'

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