Table 1.

A ‘Yes, Maybe, No’ approach for job planning for specialist palliative care healthcare professionals during pandemics and other healthcare emergencies.

Description‘Specialist palliative care’ – activities related to specialist training‘General medical care’ – activities related to general medical trainingNon-essential ‘usual’ activities
ExamplesSymptom control – difficult cases End-of-life care – difficult cases Education and training – symptom control, end-of-life care
[Audit and research]
Medical management of patients
[Decision making around escalation de-escalation]
[Breaking ‘bad news’]
Generally non-clinical activities
Role of other healthcare professionals / other staffMany activities can be shared within specialist palliative care teams
Some activities can be delegated to other healthcare professionals (with appropriate training/support)
Medical management overseen by medical/support teams (eg ITU team).Some activities can be delegated to administrative staff and/or volunteers
Apply ‘3-D’ approach:
  • Ditch – the activity doesn't need doing at all

  • Delay – the activity needs doing, but it doesn't need doing now

  • Delegate – the activity needs doing now

Population of patientsPandemic patients:
  • patients for escalation (full, limited)

  • patients not for escalation

‘Normal’ palliative care patients
Pandemic patients
(‘Normal’ palliative care patients)
(‘Normal’ palliative care patients)