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RCGP conducts a survey to understand the state of end of life care

11 May 2016

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Practice managers, district nurses and GPs are being urged to complete a survey about the state of end of life care.

The questionnaire has been put together by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and cancer charity Marie Curie.

It aims to help the RCGP develop better educational support for GPs. The results will also be used to back up calls for financial support and political backing for staff delivering end of life care.

The National General Practice Palliative and End of Life Care audit looks at patients’ needs, the time staff spend with patients and the quality of care they are offered.

It mirrors a similar survey carried out five years ago.

Marie Curie has joined forces with the RCGP in a one-year project called Spotlight  to identify the best end of life care and share it with other professional bodies.

The charity’s medical director Professor Bill Noble said: “Getting a picture of end of life care in general practice remains very important in ensuring that people can access the best possible care at the end of their life.”

The clinical champion for end of life care for the RCGP and Marie Curie called for some of the funding announced in NHS England’s GP rescue package General Practice Forward View to be spent on end of life care.

Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders said: “With an increasing ageing population, and as the number of deaths increases in the future, GPs will need additional time and support in order to provide the high quality end of life care that our patients deserve.”

Questions include whether practices have a system for co-ordinating palliative care, a named co-ordinator and unified record keeping as well as anticipatory home visits for dying patients.

The survey closes on Tuesday May 31 and results will be published in October.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report A different ending  published this week highlighted inequalities in end of life care, which saw some people ending their days in hospital against their wishes.

The CQC also highlighted good care offered to patients