Colchester GP practice wins national award for end of life care

(L-R) Dr Siobhan O�'Regan and Dr Carolyn Richardson. Picture: GSF Centre

(L-R) Dr Siobhan O�'Regan and Dr Carolyn Richardson. Picture: GSF Centre - Credit: Archant

A Colchester GP practice has been recognised with a national award for its work in end of life care.

Rowhedge and University of Essex Medical Practice was presented with the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award at a special ceremony in London.

The award, which was presented by Terry Kemple, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, recognises the work the practice has done to improve end of life care.

It comes after the surgery took part in training provided by The National GSF Centre and then demonstrated it was meeting the necessary standards.

Dr Carolyn Richardson, lead GP for end of life care at the practice, said patients with a range of conditions are now benefitting from more formalised care as they approach their final months.


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She said: “Each of these patients has a named GP. We call them priority patients and we have a white board in reception with names on so that all staff know exactly who is on the list, who their named doctor is and that their needs should be prioritised.

“With more patients on the register we’ve been able to ensure that more people are now able to spend their final days of life in their preferred place of care. Patients benefit from being on the register as they get a dedicated ‘singlepoint’ phone number which they can call 24/7 for advice from palliative care nurses at St Helena Hospice.

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“It was important for us to involve the whole practice team in the GSF training, so it included reception and managerial staff alongside clinicians.”

The practice has helped almost nine out of ten patients live their final days in their preferred place.

Professor Keri Thomas, clinical director of The National GSF Centre, added: “The team at Rowhedge has demonstrated a real passion for providing quality care for all of their patients who are approaching the end of their lives.

“Most importantly they are helping these patients live their final months in the place and manner of their choosing, through better planning, communication and coordination. GSF provides the tools, framework and structural change to help family doctors provide ‘gold standard’ care for people nearing the end of life.”

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