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Palliative Care – Sobell House Oxford

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Job Summary

Ward doctor for an inpatient palliative care unit with 18 beds.

General day:

9am - team handover, then ward round (Consultant lead 4 days a week)
(either support consultant on their round, or round on your own after splitting patient list with other team members - SpR, Specialty doctor)

12.30 - (mondays and tuesdays) MDT with medical team/physio/OT/social work/bereavement coucillor/chaplain

14.00-17.00 - See new admissions, continue ward round, ward jobs

Teaching or M&M meetings every other Wednesday

You are responsible for many day to day discussions with patients and families. You are never expected to do anything you would feel uncomfortable doing but certainly encouraged to become more comfortable with difficult discussions.  A well supported job.


Sobell House, Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LE

Shift pattern (lates/nights/weekends etc)

Late shifts - on average one a week. Cover for Sobell House and the haematology or oncology ward from 5pm with handover at 9-930pm

Nights - two sets of nights in 3 months (one set of 3 one of 4). Cover Sobell, haematology, oncology and gynaecological oncology

Weekends - Two in three months. Cover Sobell House and either haematology or oncology (12.5hrs fri/sat/sun).

Top tips for extra opportunities (e.g. teaching / skills )

Opportunities available to go out into the community with palliative care nurses and to sit in outpatients clinics.

Spend some time with the chaplain and art therapy team to discuss their role.

Weekly teaching for palliative care team, Friday morning SHO oncology teaching

The senior support is great, so it's possible to develop advanced communication skills in a supportive environment


The staff - there is a very closely knit MDT at Sobell House. You will be made to feel welcome and that what you do is worthwhile.

The relationship with the patients and families.

Lots of one to one time with the consultants who are very approachable and keen to hear new ideas, answer any questions.

I developed a lot more confidence in end of life medication prescribing and symptom control.

I also feel a lot more comfortable in initiating conversations regarding end of life which before I found challenging.


This is an emotionally challenging role.

Haematology and oncology on calls can be very busy. The weeks you also work the weekend can be very tiring but you do get the Thursday before and the Tuesday after a weekend worked off.

Night shifts are busy.

The details are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.

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