Background: The Palliative Care Consult Service (PCCS) programme was among the first initiations in Hungary to provide palliative care for patients admitted to hospital. The PCCS team provides palliative care for mainly cancer patients and their family members and manages the patient pathway after being discharged from the hospital. The service started in 2014 with 300-400 patient visits per year. The aim of this study is to give a comprehensive overview of the PCCS programme guided by a conceptual framework designed by SELFIE ("Sustainable intEgrated chronic care modeLs for multi-morbidity: delivery, FInancing, and performancE"), a Horizon2020 funded EU project and to identify the facilitators and barriers to its wider implementation. Methods: PCCS has been selected by the SELFIE consortium for in-depth evaluation as one of the Hungarian integrated care models for persons with multi-morbidity. The qualitative analysis of the PCCS programme was based on available documents of the care provider and interviews with different stakeholders related to the programme. Results: The integrated, multidisciplinary and patient-centred approach was well-received among the patients, family members and clinical departments, as verified by the increasing number of requests for consultations. As a result of the patient pathway management across providers (e.g. from inpatient care to homecare) a higher level of coordination could be achieved in the continuity of care for seriously-ill patients. The regulatory framework has only partially been established, policies to integrate care across organizations and sectors and adequate financial mechanism to support the enhancement and sustainability of the PCCS are still missing. Conclusions: The service integration of palliative care could be implemented successfully in an academic hospital in Hungary. However, the continuation and enhancement of the programme will require further evidence on the performance of the integrated model of palliative care and a more systematic approach particularly regarding the evaluation, financing and implementation process.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Integrated care, Palliative care, Qualitative study, SELFIE
Persistent URL,
Journal BMC Palliative Care
Zemplényi, A.T. (Antal T.), Csikos, A, Csanádi, M, Mölken, M.R.-V. (Maureen Rutten-Van), Hernandez, C. (Carmen), Pitter, J.G, … Kaló, Z. (2020). Implementation of palliative care consult Service in Hungary-integration barriers and facilitators. BMC Palliative Care, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12904-020-00541-0