GP practice wins Gold award for end of life care

Dr Andrew Foster receiving GSF Quality Hallmark Award, with Professor Keri Thomas, Clinical Director of the National GSF Centre.

Dr Andrew Foster receiving GSF Quality Hallmark Award, with Professor Keri Thomas, Clinical Director of the National GSF Centre.

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A GP practice has won a national award in recognition of the care it provides its patients who are approaching the end of their lives as well as their families and carers.

Coastal Medical Group in Morecambe was presented with the Quality Hallmark Award at the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Annual Conference in London by Dr Dennis Cox of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

It becomes only the ninth GP practice to be accredited by the National GSF Centre.

Coastal Medical Group demonstrated to GSF assessors extraordinary changes in their provision of end of life care.

The number of patients who are on Coastal Medical Group’s palliative care register when they die has increased fivefold following GSF training.

This has enabled the practice which cares for 32,000 people, to halve the number of its patients dying in hospital and almost double the number of people dying in their normal place of residence.

Dr Andrew Foster, one of 16 partners at Coastal, said: “The biggest thing has been the change in mentality, recognising what palliative care is, seeing people who are approaching the end of life and having palliative care at the back of your mind at all

times.

“We can see the good it is doing for our patients and their families.

“It is a relatively small number of patients, but a big reward.”