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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Joined up approach best way to improve end of life care
Article Type: News From: Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Volume 12, Issue 3
Care homes for older people need to take advantage of advice and education offered from various bodies to ensure palliative and end of life care in Scotland is the best it can be.
The call is made in a Care Commission report “Palliative and end of life care: are we meeting the standards in care homes for older people?” which provides a nationwide picture of the work being undertaken to support people and their families in this important service area.
The report finds that while care homes are making progress, improvements can be made to ensure standards consistently meet the needs of users. It recommends that care services should continue to seek educational support through various means such as working with colleagues in the NHS, local authorities and the third sector.
Acting Chief Executive David Wiseman said joint working between care providers and stakeholders outside the care home sector is critical to ensure good care is delivered:
It is now well recognised that care homes in Scotland are playing an increasingly important part in caring for people and their families with palliative and end of life care needs […] Overall, our findings show that while care homes are making progress in how they deliver good palliative and end of life care, they can do much more to ensure people in Scotland’s care homes receive the standard of care that meets their needs, expectations and wishes.
The report’s findings is based on information provided by care homes to the Care Commission in 2008/2009 and reviews the progress of recommendations made in its 2009 “Better care every step of the way” report.
The report also makes several recommendations calling on all care homes in Scotland to:
Encourage and enable their staff to access e-learning.
Continue to work closely with GPs and members of primary health care teams.
Support staff to access NHS Education for Scotland educational support materials.
With the new Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland regulatory body coming into force in April 2011, the Care Commission is also recommending that it continues to monitor and report on this important area of care to ensure that Scotland’s care homes continue to make progress and provide their residents and families with the best possible palliative and end of life care.
*The report, “Palliative and end of life care: are we meeting the standards in care homes for older people?” is available from: www.carecommission.com