The Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of General Practitioners have published “The End of Life Care Patient Charter” setting out best practice standards for primary care providers. The Charter makes seven pledges to patients and their families, promising, amongst other things:
- To do their utmost to ensure a patient’s remaining days and nights are as comfortable as possible, and that they receive all the particular specialist care and emotional and spiritual support they need
- To help patients think ahead and identify the choices that they may face and to do their best to ensure that a patient’s wishes are fulfilled, wherever possible
- To do all they can to help the patient preserve their independence, dignity and sense of personal control throughout the course of their illness
- To support those close to the patient, both as the patient approaches the end of their life and through their bereavement.
The Charter will be sent to GP surgeries and will be revised as feedback is received.