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RCGP lobbies to create GPSI role in end-of-life care

By Lilian Anekwe

The RCGP is lobbying for the creation of a new role for GPs with a special interest in care homes to drive up standards on end of life care in general practice.

New GPSIs should conduct a certain number of allocated clinical sessions each week in care homes as a way of ‘encouraging more proactive GP involvement in care homes', and is one of several recommendations made as part of a new end-of-life care strategy published by the college.

The strategy calls for renewed action to improve ‘inconsistent and sometimes inadequate' end of life care, and warns of variation in the ‘amount of secured time allocated to GPs', and the quality of care provided.

‘Discussion about improved consistency and evolving roles of GPs caring for care homes, such as allocated GP sessions and GPSIs for care homes, should be examined along with others from health and social care,' the report says.

The college will also begin running pilots that will eventually feed into the process for developing potential new QOF indicators for palliative care.

The strategy comes in the same week as research showed a third of practices admitted to having no involvement in the Gold Standards Framework for end-of-life care, five years after its publication.

A questionnaire survey of 2,000 practices published in the journal Palliative Medicine found 61.5% reported involvement in the framework.

Dr Bill Noble, senior lecturer in palliative medicine at the University of Sheffield, concluded: ‘Our findings appear to support the role of national initiatives in improving the quality of end-of-life care delivery in general practice.'

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