HEALTH experts across Rotherham are undertaking a major training programme with care homes and GP surgeries in a bid to improve end of life care services in the borough.
The Gold Standards Framework is a national initiative to improve the quality of care provided for care home residents as well as improving partnerships with GPs and other health specialists.
The aim is to make sure that people live well until the end of life, whatever their age or illness.
It is also hoped that the framework will reduce the number of people dying in hospital, allowing more people to choose to die at home, if that is their wish.
Care homes will be able to individually plan end of life care for each resident and staff will be trained to discuss the difficult subject of death with patients.
Stuart Keeling, senior project manager, said: "The programme will greatly improve end of life care in Rotherham by making sure all the services work closer together and share information so patients get the right treatment at their end of life.
“Patients, their carers and relatives will also be involved in the planning process giving them the right to choose where they want to die for example.
"We have already had excellent feedback from the care homes who are reporting an improvement in staff knowledge, as well as their relationships with GPs and other health specialists, meaning care homes are now able to deliver an even greater level of care to their residents.
“At a recent workshop we had 100 per cent attendance which is the first time this has ever happened anywhere in the country since the Gold Standards
Framework programme for care homes commenced in 2004.
“This goes to demonstrate the excellent progress made locally."
The programme has been developed in response to the NHS Rotherham end of life care consultation last year, which saw the End of Life Care Team travelling through Rotherham in the LINK camper van asking local people what they would like to see for their end of life care.