First GP practices win accreditation for end of life care

Seven GP practices in England have become the first to win accreditation as quality providers of end of life care under a scheme backed by the RCGP.

Accreditation: practice staff with end of life awards

The practices were awarded the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) quality hallmark award because they demonstrated ‘substantial improvements in a number of key areas - crucially identifying more patients, not just those with cancer, as being in the final months of life’.

The changes mean patients are more engaged in discussions about their care, enabling more people to die in their preferred place and more families to receive bereavement support.

GSF clinical director professor Keri Thomas said the GSF award represented a ‘gold standard’ in the care for people nearing the end of life.

The seven practices were presented with their awards by RCGP chief executive Neil Hunt at the GSF annual conference yesterday.

Speaking at the conference, GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘GPs have a critical role in caring for patients as they approach the end of their lives.

'Identifying these patients, assessing their needs and planning their care is vital if this is to be done well and doctors are to understand and meet the needs and wishes of both the patient and their family.'

‘It is great to see GP practices being recognised for meeting this challenge and providing quality end of life care. All GP practices should aspire to the standards within the GSF award.’

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