'A team around the child': professionals' experiences of unmet needs, access and expectations in children's palliative care services, a phenomenological study in the UK
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AbstractThis study aims to understand the experiences of professionals involved in caring for families of children with life-limiting illnesses to ascertain unmet needs, access issues and expectations of services.A phenomenological approach comprising semi-structured interviews with professionals from various services was used. Interviews that happened between July and November 2018 were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed based on descriptive phenomenology.In total, 29 interviews were conducted. Findings showed how essential collaborative working was for becoming a team around the child. Barriers to this include complex working relationships, overprotectiveness of families, roles and responsibilities and use of independent care records. The pressures of waiting times and the impact of staffing shortages affected the experiences of providing care. The reality of meeting families' expectations was shaped by family networking, online research and previous services resistance, which was influential in more challenging interactions. Expectations of care were also impacted by misunderstandings and anxieties surrounding access to services. Overall, professionals were concerned about families being used as a bottomless caring resource and stressed the need for short breaks to alleviate parents.Interventions that educate families and professionals on these services and how they can benefit the child and family would be well received.
CitationConstantinou G, Cook EJ, Tolliday E, Randhawa G (2023) ''A team around the child': professionals' experiences of unmet needs, access and expectations in children's palliative care services, a phenomenological study in the UK', Journal of Child Health Care, (), pp.-.
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
SponsorsThis work was jointly funded by the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire and Keech Hospice Care.
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