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GPs 'need support on end of life care'

By Laura Montini

Three quarters of GPs believe they have a responsibility to discuss end of life care with patients but almost half of family doctors are calling for support to help them provide guidance, according to a survey of 500 GPs.

The survey, conducted by The King's Fund, also found 68 per cent of GPs have not discussed their own end of life plans with their families or doctors.

The Fund's Chief Executive Niall Dickson said: ‘'Death and dying remain one of the last taboos. The fact that GPs themselves struggle with this issue shows how much further we have to go in tackling this topic.'

‘The good news is that GPs tell us they would welcome that support,' he added.

The Government claims the Summary Care Records will help patients with the issue as they contain a section in which patients can include their end of life wishes.

In Bury, where Summary Care Records are already used, the DH says around 60 patients have already used the service.

Health Minister Mike O'Brien said: ‘We are particularly interested in the experience at Bury which has incorporated end of life wishes for a substantial number of patients. Moving the NHS from good to great needs improvements such as this.'

Many GPs believe they need more support to help them provide guidance on end of life care Many GPs believe they need more support to help them provide guidance on end of life care

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