Out-of-hours palliative care provided by GP co-operatives in the Netherlands: A focus group study

B Schweitzer, Ah Blankenstein, Luc Deliens, He Van Der Horst

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In the Netherlands, out-of-hours primary care has been re-organized from small on-call rota groups to large-scale GP co-operatives. However, out-of-hours palliative care is an area of concern. According to studies in the UK, the transfer of information about terminally ill patients to GP co-operatives seems to be poor, resulting in care that is often inadequate. Our aim was to investigate the experiences of GPs in the Netherlands about the quality of out-of-hours palliative care provided by GP co-operatives, and to identify elements of care that might need to be improved. Methods: Setting: General practice. Design: Qualitative study, using three focus group discussions, analysed in a qualitative descriptive approach. Results: GPs participating in the focus groups, considered the quality of out-of-hours palliative care that is provided by GP co-operatives to be meagre. The service provided by the co-operatives was designed for acute medical problems, rather than for palliative care needs. The GPs reported three major problems: () lack of adequate information at the GP out-of-hours service; () lack of anticipatory care during office hours; and () absence of a palliative care policy in the GP co-operatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-166
JournalEuropean Journal of General Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Out-of-hours
  • palliative care
  • GP

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