Referral and survival of patients accepted by a terminal care support team.
Evans C., McCarthy M.
The first year's work of Bloomsbury terminal care support team has been analysed from routinely recorded information. The patients accepted by the team were of younger average age than all people dying from cancer within the catchment population. The median survival of patients after first contact with the team was 49 days, but survival of patients referred by general practitioners and hospital general physicians was substantially shorter than of those referred by hospital oncologists and radiotherapists. The growing number of district terminal care services suggests the need for continued research to develop guidelines for referral of patients and methods of evaluating the team's work.