General practitioners are best placed to serve the population with a supportive palliative care experience. They will often know the patients and their families within their social environments. They also have oversight of all decisions being made by different specialists and a good knowledge of community resources that can support patients and those close to them within their preferred place of care.
It is vitally important to identify people as early as possible that might need palliating to be able to offer them a holistic and patient-centred approach to care. Through this difficult time, a strong multidisciplinary team effort can give people a real sense of support which they appreciate. Drawing on experiences of allied healthcare teams can help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. It may also be highly beneficial in terms of providing good healthcare, not only in the physical domain, but also covering the psychological, social and spiritual agendas of patients. Discussing and documenting a dynamic advance care plan can help patients and families to prepare for their future and make decisions on their future care choices.
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