Gold Standards Framework rewards outstanding end of life care

Categories: Care.

Five GP practices and the Nightingale House care home have been recognised by the Gold Standard Framework (GSF) for providing outstanding care at the end of life.

Wareham Surgery in Dorset, The Apples Medical Centre in Dorset, Trent View Medical Practice in Scunthorpe, Priory Medical Group in York, and Macklin Street Surgery in Derby are the five practices that have received the GSF Quality Hallmark Award.

All five practices have demonstrated improvements in care for their patients in the last phase of life following completion of the GSF Primary Care Training Programme. More patients dying in their preferred place, fewer hospital admissions and better coordinated care with care homes and hospitals are just three of the significant benefits they have demonstrated to receive the national award, which is co-badged by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and supported by the Royal College of Nursing.

At Priory Group Practice, York, Dr Victoria Middleton and her team have experienced some marked improvements across all the key measures, across all nine of its sites.

Dr Middleton said:

“There is definitely a feeling of greater confidence in caring for patients, a higher level of awareness of their needs and better planning and preparation. Because we have identified patients earlier and engaged them in conversations about their care, we almost always have the plans in place, have communicated with the Out of Hours teams and have the meds in place. This means that patients are getting a better death and families can grieve better.”

Dr Ann Marshall of Wareham Surgery, said:

“Patients are now receiving more proactive, better planned care in line with their wishes. That means we are supporting more people to stay at home and now only a third of our patients are dying in hospital. That’s better for patients and their families and satisfying for us a practice.

“As a team we know our patients well and so we can now proactively identify those frail ones that need increased levels of care and with whom we can discuss their needs and wishes. In turn that helps us care for them where and how they want.”

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

“As the experience of these five frontrunners shows, using this GSF approach can be a game-changer. With the triple challenge of an ageing population, a 25 per cent rise in the number of predicted deaths in the next 20 years and pressure to reduce hospitalisation, these practices are exemplars for others looking to ensure more die where they choose, and avoidable, expensive hospital admissions are reduced.”

Nightingale House, a nursing home in south London was named Care Home of the Year by the GSF. The home was awarded its first GSF Quality Hallmark 12 years ago, and has also received an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Simon Pedzisi, Director of Care and Services at Nightingale House, says the two accolades are inextricably linked.

He said:

“Without a shadow of a doubt, GSF helped us achieve the outstanding rating from CQC. For us to demonstrate high standards of care means we are demonstrating high standards of end of life care because of the age profile of our residents. GSF is the foundation of our care which means it is the foundation of our CQC rating.”

Nightingale House is a 215-bed home which has been providing residential, nursing and dementia care to the Jewish community for more than 175 years. During 2018, no residents died in hospital and all who died did so in the nursing home, their preferred place. The average age of residents when they are admitted to Nightingale House is 92, so staff are encouraged to treat every day as though it could be residents’ last.

As well as the Care Home of the Year Award, 14 homes were receiving the GSF Quality Hallmark for the first time, while a further 62 were being accredited for the second or third time.

Professor Keri Thomas, Founder and Clinical Director of the GSF Centre, said:

“Against the backdrop of an average of 30 per cent staff turnover and stringent financial pressures on social care, for these homes to embed, sustain and improve care year after year, using GSF as a vehicle for quality improvement, is a really fantastic achievement and one that we could only have dreamt of 14 years ago when this first began.

“I feel so proud of these outstanding homes being accredited for the second, third and fourth time, like Nightingale House. They are genuine exemplars of excellent, proactive, person-centred care.”

For more information visit Gold Standards Framework

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