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Moreton Health Clinic wins award for meeting patients’ end of life care wishes

A Wirral GP practice has become the first in the area to receive a national award for the quality of care it provides patients in the final months of their life.

Moreton Health Clinic which looks after more than 6,000 people, has earned the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award in recognition of its outstanding end of life care.

Dr Katherine Lewis, one of three GP partners at the practice, who took on this initiative at the practice after the original project lead Dr Maria Earl relocated, says the whole practice team now feels fully engaged in the care of this patient group and that patients are appreciating the benefits too.

“Patients are feeling increasingly well supported,” added Dr Lewis. “We’ve encouraged them to verbalise their wishes and preferences and it’s allowed them to talk about this sensitive subject with their families. In turn, our practice team feels empowered and even better able to help people fulfil their wishes for the final months of life.”

Fifteen per cent more people were cared for right up until the end of their life in their place of choice, as a result of the changes implemented as part of the GSF training. The whole team now has a role to play, including the receptionists and administrative team at Moreton Health Clinic and the needs of this most vulnerable patient group are discussed both at the weekly practice meeting and a dedicated monthly meeting, ensuring that the whole team is aware of any changes in condition, ready to adapt their care accordingly.

GSF gives outstanding training to all those providing end of life care to ensure better lives for people and recognised standards of care. It is the largest national programme to help improve care for patients approaching the end of life, helping health and social care professionals provide coordinated, personalised care for patients and their families and reduces hospital admissions.

Professor Keri Thomas, Clinical Director of the National GSF Centre, said: “The team at Moreton Health Clinic has demonstrated a real passion for providing quality care for 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.”

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