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Three GP practices win Gold Standards Framework for end of life care

Author: Leila Hawkins
29 September 2017

Three GP practices have received the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award for their achievements in end of life care.

Exmoor Medical Centre in Dulverton, Rosegarth and Siddal Surgery in West Yorkshire, and The ColTe Partnership - Rowhedge and University of Essex Medical Practice , have been recognised for increasing the number of patients on their GSF/palliative care register, engaged many more patients in advance care planning discussions, reduced the number of inappropriate hospital admissions, and made it possible for many more people to die in their preferred place.

Rowhedge and University of Essex Medical Practice has increased early identification of patients considered to be in the final years of life, with 2.8 per cent of the practice population now on the palliative care register, above the national average.

GP Dr Carolyn Richardson said:

“With more patients on the register we have been able to ensure that more people are now dying in their preferred place of care – about 85 per cent. Patients like being on the register as they get a dedicated phone number which they can call 24/7 for advice from palliative care nurses at the local hospice.”

Dr Paul Sawczyn of Rosegarth and Siddal surgery in Halifax said that because of changes it had introduced with the help of GSF training, more patients with a wider range of conditions were now enjoying the special, co-ordinated care they needed and deserved.

He said:

“Gold standard care should be for everyone, whether you are elderly and frail or have an aggressive cancer, it should be the same for all. When reception take a call it is evident that they are a ‘gold card’ holder. That means they get VIP priority status and their needs will be attended immediately – they can bypass the queue.”

Meanwhile, at Exmoor Medical Centre, GPs have been changing patients’ perceptions about what is possible  at the end of life.

Commenting on their achievements, Dr Kelsey Boddington said:

“GSF has helped us to expand our palliative care register to include people with a much wider range of conditions. Some people do not realise that it is possible to die at home, so it is really rewarding when we can change those perceptions and help people fulfil that wish if that is what they want.”

Speaking of the winning practices, Professor Keri Thomas, Clinical Director of the National GSF Centre, said:

“We feel really proud of these practices. They are the frontrunners, leading the way and demonstrating what is possible to achieve in primary care. As exemplars, they can be an encouragement and an inspiration to others, demonstrating a real passion for providing quality care for their patients nearing the end of their lives, helping them live their final stage in the place and manner of their choosing.”

 “As we face the challenges of the ageing population, the crucial role of GPs in coordinating and thinking ahead in care for people nearing the end of life is even more apparent. GSF provides the framework, training, tools, and structural change to help family doctors provide ‘gold standard’ care for people nearing the end of life.  These practices are evidence of what is possible and it is great that they are recognised and applauded.”

Dr Terry Kemple, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), will present the three practice teams with the award co-badged by RCGP, at GSF’s annual conference in London today, which celebrates leaders in primary care, hospitals and care homes.

He said:

“Good general practice does not happen by accident and the discipline and experience of practices accredited by the GSF has raised the standards for what practices can achieve in their end of life care for our patients and their carers.”

For more information visit Gold Standards Framework

See more articles in Care

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