District nurses' experiences and perceptions of cancer patient referrals.

Gretl Mchugh, Gretl McHugh, Brian Pateman, Karen Luker

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    Traditionally palliative care of cancer patients has been seen as an important and defining aspect of district nursing. Care of the dying patient has been used to describe the ability and scope of the district nursing service to holistically provide for patient need. However health and social service changes in the last decade have refocused the district nurse's role away from holistic delivery to more specialized care. There is also research evidence that there are several contradictions in referral processes to the district nursing service. We conducted a study to explore district nurses' perceptions and experiences of referral of cancer patients to gain insight into these referral processes. We interviewed 20 nurses from three primary care trusts to explore the referral process of cancer patients to the district nursing service from the district nurses' point of view. The nurses expressed concerns regarding completeness, accuracy and appropriateness of referral and suggested improvements that could be made.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-79
    Number of pages7
    JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


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