Goals of the work: The aim of this study was to explore the bereaved caregivers' experience of the Hospice at Home service delivered in one region of the UK.
Materials and methods: Three hundred and ten bereaved caregivers identified by the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team or Hospice at Home nurse, who met inclusion criteria, were sent a postal questionnaire to explore their views and experiences of the Hospice at Home service. Data were collected during 2002.
Main results: In total, 128 caregivers responded, providing a 41% response rate. Most caregivers believed that the Hospice at Home service enabled their loved one's wish to be cared for and to die at home to be fulfilled. A number of suggestions were made relating to increased awareness of the service, training for staff, coordination of service delivery and bereavement support.
Conclusions: The bereaved caregivers were thankful for the Hospice at Home service; however, the need for practical support, increased awareness of the Hospice at Home service and bereavement support were also identified. Although the bereaved caregivers provided a valuable insight in evaluating service provision, it is acknowledged that some caregivers are often so grateful for the treatment and care received that they tend to forget or ignore their less pleasant experiences. Further research is therefore required using an in-depth qualitative approach investigating on the carers' views and experiences of accessing the Hospice at Home service.