End-of-life patient charter is unveiled

Doctors and nurses are pledging to make sure the final wishes of dying patients are carried out.

More than 8,000 GP surgeries in England will be asked to display a new patient charter on end of life care.

The document contains seven "pledges" to make the last few weeks and days of a person's life as comfortable as possible.

It has been created by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) as an example of the "best practice" all patients deserve from nurses and GPs in primary care.

The pledges include GPs and their practice teams promising to: "Help you think ahead so as to identify the choices that you may face, assist you to record your decisions and do our best to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, wherever possible, by all those who offer you care and support."

Another pledge promises to: "Ensure clear written communication of your needs and wishes to those who offer you care and support."

They will also promise to do "their utmost" to ensure the patient's remaining days are comfortable, and that they get all the specialist care and emotional and spiritual support they need.

Patients are invited to comment on the charter and offer suggestions for improving it.

It was formulated with the help of patients, nurses, GPs, specialists and representatives from health and social care.

A copy of the charter will be sent to 8,500 GP Practices across England to be displayed in waiting rooms.

Professor Keri Thomas, RCGP clinical champion for end of life care, said: "GPs and their teams have a special relationship not just with their patients but with the people close to them, all of whom need special care and support through the process of dying.

"We have the ability to co-ordinate good care and to help reduce some of the worry and stress when a loved one is approaching the end of their life.

"We hope the charter will be an invaluable means of encouraging and supporting best care for our patients nearing the end of life."

Professor Mike Richards, NHS clinical director for end of life care, said: "GPs are often best placed to identify people who are approaching the end of life and to initiate discussions with them about their priorities and preferences for care.

"They have a central role in the provision of end of life care."

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN, said: "The RCN has worked hard alongside the RCGP to build this charter, and we hope that it will assist people at the end of their lives including those who die at home - if that is what they and their carers want.

"This charter clearly describes what patients and carers should expect as people are nearing the end of their life, as well as providing a framework for the staff providing that care.

"There is no doubt that the provision of end of life services have been significantly improved in recent years, however there is still a long way to go before we can be confident that people always receive the best possible care."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "GPs and nurses have a vital role in providing high quality, compassionate end-of-life care, and that is why we welcome this End of Life Patient Charter.

"Progress is being made in improving end-of-life care, but we know more needs to be done and that is why we are modernising the NHS to improve training and ensure best practice is embedded across the NHS.

"We are committed to improving the quality of end-of-life care and we will continue to promote the implementation of the End of Life Care Strategy."

News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
ebookAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    (Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

    Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

    £55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

    £60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Principle Geotechnical Engineer

    £55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Day In a Page

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup