GPs set to display end-of-life pledge

All GPs in England will be asked to help terminally ill patients record how they wish to be cared for at the end of their life under a charter drawn up by the RCGP.

England's 8,500 practices will display seven pledges designed to ensure patients' wishes are respected.

Developed by the RCGP and Royal College of Nursing, the charter ensures a record can be made of a person's end-of-life wishes. This may include whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated by medical staff.

The charter pledges that GPs, other health workers and carers will 'do all we can to help you preserve your independence, dignity and sense of personal control throughout the course of your illness'.

A dedicated website will also give practical support and guidance for GPs, to help them provide the best care for people at the end of their life.

In April, the NHS National End of Life Care Programme published guidance on how GPs involved with end-of-life care can access detailed guidance on best practice to ensure the necessary actions are conducted safely and respectfully.

Stephen Robinson

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