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Going for Gold: the Gold Standards Framework programme and accreditation in primary care
  1. Collette Clifford1,
  2. Keri Thomas2,
  3. Julie Armstrong-Wilson3
  1. 1Emeritus Professor, School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2GSF National Clinical Lead and Honorary Professor End of Life Care, GSF Centre CIC for End of Life Care, Shrewsbury, UK
  3. 3GSF Nurse Lead for Hospitals and Primary Care, GSF Centre CIC for End of Life Care, Shrewsbury, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Collette Clifford, c.m.clifford{at}


Primary care teams are pivotal in caring for patients in the final year of life, enabling more to live well and die where they choose. They face increasing pressures from an ageing population, rising mortality and limited resources. Therefore, proactive approaches are required to support people nearing the end of life. The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Improvement Programmes have been influential in end-of-life care (EOLC) since 2000. The first 10 general practitioner (GP) practices completing the updated ‘GSF Gold’ Programme and associated Accreditation are demonstrating enhanced EOLC including earlier identification of patients, more advance care planning discussions and improved outcomes for more patients. Use of this proactive approach demonstrates what is possible to achieve in general practices. Progress to date is encouraging, with evidence of significant change, exemplifying a possible model for 21st century primary care to meet the needs of those nearing the end of life.

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  • Contributors The Gold Standard Framework programme lead, KT, and lead nurse JA-W managed the programme reported, provided the data and contributed to editing this report to ensure accuracy. CC prepared the report for publication and worked with other authors to complete the finished product.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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