Thousands of nursing home residents are receiving better coordinated and more compassionate care at the end of their lives as a result of their homes completing the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Care Homes programme.
Today (27 September) at the 9th GSF Annual Conference in central London, 50 more care homes were being presented with Quality Hallmark Awards, bringing the total number of homes to have been accredited to 420. With almost 100 reaccredited, GSF recognised homes are helping residents and families experience dignified care at the end of their life in the place of their choice as well as delivering significant cost savings for the NHS. A further 25 homes were being presented with the award for a second time, three years after they were initially recognised, demonstrating that the changes GSF helps implement, are sustainable as well as significant. More than 2,500 homes across England and Wales have completed the GSF in Care Homes Training Programme. Since the launch of its care homes programme in 2004 the GSF centre has now trained almost half of all nursing homes in England.
Maggie Stobbart-Rowlands, GSF National Centre Lead Nurse, said, “The last decade has witnessed a significant change in the way care homes, and nursing homes in particular, care for their residents as they approach the end of their lives and the GSF Centre is proud to have played a significant part in that transformation. Increasing numbers of people are now being cared for in a more compassionate and coordinated way which means they are receiving the care they want, where and when they want it.
“We applaud the successfully accredited care homes for leading the way in care for their seriously ill frail residents and reducing the numbers going to hospital. Over the years, GSF has helped raise the bar in care homes across the country , encouraging a national momentum of best practice – with more homes aspiring to the high standards of care and more people receiving a ‘gold standard ‘ of care in the final years of life. Gradually this is becoming the norm.
The awards were presented by Dr Alan Rosenbach, Special Policy Lead at the Care Quality Commission. Dr Rosenbach said: “At the Care Quality Commission we place great value on the work of the GSF, which has undoubtedly helped to drive up standards of palliative care in care homes. The vital importance of this to people approaching the end of their life, and their families, can hardly be overstated.”
Those care homes that have received the GSF Quality Hallmark Award have demonstrated real improvements in the quality of care they provide, and halved crisis hospital admissions of residents at the end of life. To be accredited, homes have to achieve 20 quality standards, ranging from leadership and support to dignity and respect.
GSF involves all care home staff, including activities coordinators, domestics and catering staff as well as nurses and carers. All aspects of a residents’ life, including spiritual beliefs, personal interests, dignity and care preferences are taken into consideration.
GSF is helping health and social care professionals deliver quality, co-ordinated cross boundary care through its other programmes in primary care and acute hospitals.