Four ExtraCare Charitable Trust locations in the Midlands and Buckinghamshire have become the first Retirement Communities to be recognised with a national award for their end of life care.
Shenley Wood, in Milton Keynes, Earlsdon Park in Coventry, Rosewood Court, Wellingborough, and Lark Hill in Nottingham are set to receive the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award at a special ceremony in London today.
The GSF Retirement Community programme is the latest GSF programme, designed like its counterparts for primary care, care homes and hospitals, to extend to proactive, personalised, coordinated and compassionate end of life care to all. It was developed in recognition of the anticipated significant population increase in this type of provision.
The programme is specifically tailored to suit the needs of Retirement Communities and includes all residents, not just those considered to be in their final year of life. GSF is designed to build on the good care already being provided in Retirement Communities so that every resident in their golden years receives gold standard care right up until the end of their life.
The award is co-badged with the main body representing the sector, ARCO. Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said: “Retirement Communities keep older people healthier and more active for longer and are a fantastic integrated housing, services, support and optional care offering. Residents live in a Retirement Community for an average of eight years, and although most are fit and healthy it makes sense to plan ahead for the end of their lives, to make sure that they receive the right care and support.
“GSF have understood how Retirement Communities are a different offering to anything else out there and have rightly produced a framework which works for residents living there. This approach will benefit thousands of people over time and is a very welcome development for our sector.”
Nineteen ExtraCare locations have completed the training and the remaining 15 are going forward for GSF accreditation in 2020.
Professor Keri Thomas, GSF Clinical Director, said: “With 78,000 people now living in Retirement Communities and that figure expected to rise significantly in the coming years, we’re delighted to be able to support the workforce in this growing sector to deliver proactive, person-centred and systematic, better coordinated care including all allied health and social care professionals.
“We congratulate ExtraCare on being frontrunners in the sector, setting an example to other Retirement Community operators in providing every resident in their golden years with gold standard care right up until the end of life.
“We’re also very pleased to be working with ARCO, who follow other professional bodies including RCGP, The British Geriatrics Society and Royal College of Nursing in co-badging our Quality Hallmark Awards, recognising the importance of quality improvement in end of life care.”