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Commitments to patient end of life care is to be displayed
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
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Location: Hampshire
A list outlining commitments to patient end of life care is to be displayed in more than 8,000 surgeries across England.

The patient charter is made up of seven 'pledges' to help make people who are in the last few weeks of their lives as comfortable as possible.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have compiled the list to highlight the best practices that all patients in primary care should receive from GPs and nurses.

As part of the pledges, doctors and their care teams should do their utmost to make sure that a patient receives emotional and spiritual support, is comfortable and receives specialist care in their final days.

Teams will also pledge to do all they can to help patients retain independence and control through the course of their illness, and to offer support to families.

Patients are invited to comment on the charter and offer suggestions for improving it.

It was formulated with the help of patients, nurses, GPs, specialists and representatives from health and social care.

A copy of the charter will be sent to 8,500 GP Practices across England to be displayed in waiting rooms.

Professor Keri Thomas, RCGP clinical champion for end of life care, said: 'GPs and their teams have a special relationship not just with their patients but with the people close to them, all of whom need special care and support through the process of dying.

'We have the ability to co-ordinate good care and to help reduce some of the worry and stress when a loved one is approaching the end of their life.

'We hope the charter will be an invaluable means of encouraging and supporting best care for our patients nearing the end of life.'

Professor Mike Richards, NHS clinical director for end of life care, said: 'GPs are often best placed to identify people who are approaching the end of life and to initiate discussions with them about their priorities and preferences for care.

'They have a central role in the provision of end of life care.'

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN, said: 'The RCN has worked hard alongside the RCGP to build this charter, and we hope that it will assist people at the end of their lives including those who die at home - if that is what they and their carers want.

'This charter clearly describes what patients and carers should expect as people are nearing the end of their life, as well as providing a framework for the staff providing that care.

'There is no doubt that the provision of end of life services have been significantly improved in recent years, however there is still a long way to go before we can be confident that people always receive the best possible care.'


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