GPs must co-ordinate end-of-life plans

GPs should be placed at the centre of plans to co-ordinate end-of-life care, an analysis of eight pilot schemes has found.

The schemes were supported by the DoH and the National End of Life Care Programme. The pilots sought to improve co-ordination of care.

An evaluation of the scheme published this week showed that GPs were crucial to the successful development of an end-of-life care register. The report said that the input of clinical data should only be carried out by a GP or other clinical lead for the patient.

The evaluation also found that individuals would most often be on the register for the last 12 months or so of life.

However, the report said that GPs would need to be ‘reassured’ by colleagues about the workload involved in implementing a using such a scheme.

‘Although registers are likely to offer time-savings in the long term, whilst learning to use the register GPs may find it less efficient to use than their current system,’ the report said.

‘For this reason peer-to-peer support would potentially be very valuable in sharing understanding of the system and promoting the potential long term time savings that the register can provide,’ it added.

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