Care homes honoured for providing gold care for the long term

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Fifty care homes from across England have been honoured for the proactive, personalised care they provide all their residents, joining a national momentum of good practice that’s seen 750 nursing and residential homes rise to the challenge of delivering quality end of life care, since 2004.

All 50 of the homes received the Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark at a special ceremony in London in recognition of their achievements in delivering on their residents’ wishes and increasing workforce confidence while reducing hospital admissions.

Presenting the awards, Vic Rayner, Executive Director of National Care Forum, one of the four major care home bodies to endorse the GSF programme, praised these homes for pioneering the active, individualised approach recently advocated in the NHS Long Term Plan.

She said: “Residents in Gold Standards Framework accredited care homes are receiving the personalised, proactive care people want and deserve as they approach the end of their life. These homes should be congratulated for being frontrunners by embedding the principles of the newly published NHS Long Term Plan ahead of time, helping more people die where and how they would choose as well as reducing avoidable hospital admissions.”

Fifteen of the successful homes were receiving the award for the first time, while for the remaining 35 this was the second, third or fourth time the quality of their care has been recognised as excellent and accredited. They demonstrate a long-term commitment to quality care, identifying residents in their last years of life, offering them the opportunity to express their wishes and then caring for them in the place and manner of their choosing.

More than 3,000 homes have now completed the GSF Care Homes Programme since it was launched 15 years ago, raising levels of staff confidence and competence in thousands of care home staff, thereby improving care for residents.

Homes must achieve a range of quality standards, evaluated with key outcomes measures, as well as submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating that the changes they’ve undertaken are truly embedded in the care they provide residents and their families. Typically, GSF halve crisis hospital admissions and deaths and increase the number of residents dying in the care homes, in line with their wishes, leading to greater satisfaction for residents, their families and staff as well as significant cost savings for the NHS.

Keri Thomas, GSF Founder and Clinical Director, said: “In the 15 years since we launched the original GSF Care Homes Programme, homes have made huge strides in how they care for their residents as they approach the end of their lives. With the anticipated increase in the number of people dying in care homes in the next decade, it’s essential that the care homes across the country take inspiration from these homes and follow their example, providing all of their residents with the proactive and personalised care they need and deserve.”

Everyone in GSF accredited homes, ranging from nurses to the activities coordinator and catering staff, is involved in regular reviews with the residents. All aspects of their lives are considered including spiritual beliefs, personal interests and care preferences.

The GSF Care Homes Training Programme and Accreditation is recognised by Care England, National Care Forum, National Care Association and Registered Nursing Home Association as well as by Skills for Care as an Excellent Provider.

The GSF Centre launched a revised version of its Care Homes Programme in 2018 which is more accessible, more affordable and even more focused on outcomes. Drawing on the learnings of the Vanguards and the experience of GSF accredited homes, this new version is being delivered by the 13 regional centres across England.

GSF training and accreditation is a proven step towards improved CQC ratings. Of the 430 care homes rated ‘outstanding’ by CQC, 65 are GSF accredited.

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