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Role Modelling GSF Principles of end-of-life Care to Care Homes
  1. Barbara Kenyon
  1. Barbara Kenyon, Practice Development Nurse for Care Homes, Care Home Project Team, St Christopher’s Hospice, London. Email: b.kenyon{at}stchristophers.org.uk

Abstract

Residents in care homes providing nursing care are becoming increasingly frail and dependent, with 80% having dementia or severe memory problems. Currently, 19% of the UK population die in care homes each year. Care homes (especially care homes providing nursing care) have an important role in the care of dying residents and are now expected to provide good end-of-life care (EoLC). Implementing EoLC tools, such as the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) and the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient, can provide a structure upon which to improve the quality of EoLC. However, some care homes, despite completing the GSF programme, find it difficult to implement the measures required to provide optimal EoLC. This article reflects on the author’s experiences over a 2-year period of working alongside such care homes. It describes how she focused on four aspects of EoLC to help support the staff: dignity in care; advance care planning; care of the dying resident using an integrated care plan for the last days of life; and assessment and management of pain and depression using specified tools. Conflicts of interest: none

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