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Supporting end of life care in long term care facilites through virtual clinics: An evaluation

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  • Full or part time
    Prof N Preston
    Prof Monideepa Tarafdar
    Dr Stephen Mason
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

It is difficult to provide complex end of life care to people in long term care facilities (LTCF), as staff often do not have the right skill set. Hospice staff try to support them but many more staff would be required to do this given the increasing number of people being cared for in care homes.

A local hospice developed a clinic where all residents could be discussed to assess their end of life needs. The clinic was run virtually though an online clinic. Staff were unsure that this provided the kind of patient centred care they wanted to give and wanted their service to be evaluated to help them learn whether their care was good enough, residents not only like it but also still achieved person-centred care.

Our plan is to:

1. Review the existing literature to see what other virtual clinics have been used in healthcare and what we can learn from this
2. Co-design a protocol with staff from the hospice and LTCFs with family carer involvement to explore how the virtual clinics have been used and find out what staff in both the LTCFs and the hospice staff providing them think about such a service by interviewing them.
3. Explore what the experience of residents was who died in the LTCFs by interviewing their bereaved family members at least 3 months after the death occurred.
4. Bring all this information together to understand what works in the different LTCFs (context), what the best way is to engage staff, families and residents to deliver care in this way (mechanism) and what sort of experience this results in (outcome). This will help other hospices and LTCFs to adopt similar approaches.

Funding Notes

The studentships will be for 4 years full-time (subject to satisfactory progress) covering the tuition fees at Home/EU rates. A stipend in line with the UK Research Council rates. Please note that funding is only available for the first 3 years but a 4th year is unfunded for writing up.

Application is by CV and covering letter which details your interest in the studentship, related experience and training and suitability for the position. Applications are to be sent to Professor Nancy Preston, [Email Address Removed]


[1] Froggatt K, Preston N, Eastham R, et alO-19 ’Evaluation of the Hospice in your Care Home’ project. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2017;7: Supp 2 A7-A8.
[2] Tieman JJ, Swetenham K, Morgan DJ, To TH & Currow DC ‘Using telehealth to support end of life care in the community: a feasibility study’ BMC Palliative Care, 15(1), 94.
[3] Weck, C. E., Lex, K. M., & Lorenzl, S. (2019). ‘Telemedicine in Palliative Care: implementation of new technologies to overcome structural challenges in the care of neurological patients’. Frontiers in Neurology, 10.
[4] Hancock S, Preston N, Jones H, Gadoud A (in press) ‘Telehealth in Palliative Care is Being Described But Not Evaluated: A Systematic Review’ BMC Palliative Care

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