Regional networks integrating a broad spectrum of institutions and services, and effective coordination, will improve access to palliative care and increase quality as well as continuity of care.
Reports on quality palliative care argue that the specialist palliative care inpatient unit should be the centre of a regional palliative care network.
There should be at least one specialist palliative care inpatient unit within each healthcare service area.
The specialist palliative care inpatient unit should be the core element of the specialist palliative care service.
The quality of care in a certain region does not depend only on the quality of the single institutions and services, but also on the coordination of specialist services and the co-ordination between specialist services and primary care services.
Radbruch L, Payne S and the Board of Directors of the EAPC. EAPC update. White Paper on standards and norms for hospice and palliative care in Europe: part 2. European Journal of Palliative Care, 2009; 16(6)