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Charter reveals end-of-life care pledges

Charter reveals end-of-life care pledges
2 June 2011



A new charter has been compiled on patient end-of-life care, and will be displayed in more than 8,000 GP surgeries in England.

The list reveals seven 'pledges' that have been made to help people who are in the final few weeks of their lives feel as comfortable as possible.

Compiled by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the patient charter has been established as an example of the "best practice" that patients should receive from primary care GPs and nurses.

As part of the pledges, GPs and their teams should do their best to make sure that the last few days of a patient's life are comfortable, and that they are provided with all the care – including medical, emotional and spiritual – that they need.

Teams will also pledge to do all they can to help patients retain independence and control through the course of their illness, and to offer support to families.

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

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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