International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 18, Iss. 7, 27 Jul 2012, pp 339 - 347
The UK End of Life Care Strategy (EoLCS) requires specialist palliative care services to contribute to end-of-life care for all. This systematic review aims to critically appraise literature published in the UK to identify how specialist palliative care professionals can collaborate with other health professionals within four of the key National Service Framework areas: heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neurological conditions, and dementia. Relevant literature was identified by electronic searches of various databases and websites and via secondary sources. A limited amount of quality research was found. Thematic analysis was applied and the over-riding themes were barriers to collaboration, organizational issues, and patients' and carers' views. The review concludes that when a collaborative approach to care is used, quality end-of-life care is achieved. Each disease pathway needs greater clarity regarding how it links with the EoLCS.