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One thousand care homes improve end-of-life care

A care home in Rotherham has become the one thousandth to sign up for the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) end-of-life care training programme.

The milestone has been reached in five years, with growing numbers of care homes applying for the training each year. The GSF Accreditation process Going for Gold began only two years ago, with up to 50 homes accredited twice a year, and about 100 homes have already received their Quality Hallmark Award, accredited with delivering Gold Standard end of life care.

The GSFCH Training Programme is one of the biggest, most comprehensive programmes ever undertaken to enhance end of life care in care homes. It is endorsed by all four major care homes organisations - ECCA, NCA, NCF and RNHA and supported by Help the Aged.

Professor Keri Thomas, GSF National Clinical Lead said: "We are very proud to have reached this landmark and to have enabled 1,000 care homes across England to deliver the best possible end of life care to their residents. We are aware of the fantastic work that staff in care homes do, often unrecognised by the public, but greatly valued by the residents and their families.

"However, there is more work to be done to develop and maintain this national momentum of excellence. We feel we are helping to demonstrate that top quality care is not only possible but can be the norm for care homes in this country."

GSF is a systematic approach to optimising the care for people nearing the end of life, with a focus on helping people to live well right up until their final days.

Carol Bradley, manager of Swallownest in Rotherham, said: "I am delighted that Swallownest has become the 1000th home to implement the Gold Standard Framework. This confirms Southern Cross's commitment to providing the best care possible at what can be a very difficult time.

"Independent verification of the care we provide is important in establishing our credentials with our partner organisations and the residents and relatives we look after."  

National End of Life Care Programme

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"This is compassion in action. Supporting death is the way to ensure a good death for our precious elderly" - Loretta, USA