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0080 Just A Few Short Months: The Journey Of A Dying Patient And Her Family
  1. Carrie Hamilton1,
  2. Carol Davis1,2
  1. 1University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Countess Mounbatten House, Southampton, UK


Context A dying patient will come into contact with a whole spectrum of services.1 Drawing these specialties and professions together to see the picture from the perspective of the patient and family and differing professional groups is usually impossible.

We felt that a simulation would allow this to happen by patchworking discussions, audience interaction, formal lectures, and a ‘mock’ ethics group, with the life of the patient and her family unfolding in front of the audience.

Methodology Over 150 health care professionals from the region came together to follow the life of Ruth and her husband, daughter and mother, from the news of her cancer diagnosis, to her eventual discharge home to die. This spanned a year in real time and played out through the day. A simulated patient and simulated relatives were used for these roles.

General practice, oncology, palliative care, nutritionists, the ethics committee were involved as the patients journey progressed. The audience, who mirrored this spectrum of specialities, watched the patient and her family interact with these professionals. They saw the link of services from community to acute and the respect between, and knowledge of, different health care professional colleagues.

Outcomes The event was compelling, emotional, insightful and importantly it has changed the practice of all the health care professionals present throughout the region. The audience were unprepared for the immense impact that this training would have on them, as professionals and on them, as simply people who care.

Conclusion The day took many hundreds of hours to create; it was filmed, therefore experiencing the event can continue. It is replicable nationally, either by touring or by cascading the framework used. It was the most highly evaluated day in education, with one participant summing it up as:

"an incredible insight into the journey of patients, family.... and staff".


  1. National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Guidance on cancer services; improving supportive and palliative care for adults with cancer: The manual. London: NICE, 2004

  • Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration

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