Update from the GSF Centre 2019

The Gold Standards Framework Centre CIC (GSF Centre CIC) provides training for generalist frontline staff in health and social care, to enable the provision of ‘gold standard’ care for all people nearing the end of life.  Along with the 12 GSF Training Programmes, increasingly important is the development of quality assurance through a formalised GSF Accreditation process leading to the GSF Quality Hallmark Awards, co-badged with leading relevant organisations, a recognised kitemark of excellence across all settings. GSF Accreditation is recognised by the Care Quality Commission regulator and endorsed and supported by the Royal College of GPs, Care England and other national care homes bodies, British Geriatrics Society, the Community Hospital Association, Association of Retirement Community Organisations and others.

The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) is an evidence based systematic approach to formalising best practice through improving the organisation and coordination of care for all people with any condition in any setting in the final year or so of life.

The aims of GSF are to: 

  1. Improve the quality of care for all people nearing the end of life - in line with their preferences
  2. Improve the coordination and collaboration of teams supporting them
  3. Improve outcomes for people enabling more to live and die where they choose, reduced hospitalisation and improved cost effectiveness

The GSF Centre CIC achieves this by providing:

  1. Training and service improvement programmes tailored to many specific settings
  2. Tools - a toolkit of resources, including IT support
  3. Measures intrinsic before and after evaluations demonstrating impact and effectiveness
  4. Support, review and customised consultancy.

 Impact of GSF - Every year GSF helps

  • GSF improves the care for about 500,000 people/year
  • Trains over 500 health and social care teams
  • In about 40 areas of the country
  • With up to 200 teams accredited with the GSF Quality Hallmark Award

Overall, since inception since 2010, The GSF Centre CIC has trained:

  • 631 GP Practices (Gold/Silver GSF) (with 98% GP practices doing bronze GSF since 2004)
  • 49 Acute Hospitals, 303 wards
  • 50 Community Hospitals, 62 wards
  • 3,395 Care Homes
  • Over 1000 Domiciliary Care workers
  • 19 retirement villages
  • 8 hospices
  • 3 prisons
  • With 10 Cross Boundary care Sites using GSF across sectors
  • Over 800 teams have been accredited
  • Affecting the care of many millions of people in the UK

GSF has been shown to improve the quality of care, confidence of staff, coordination, team working, and documentation and reduce hospital deaths, in many cases halving the numbers of people admitted to and dying in hospital, enabling more to live and die at home, leading to significant cost savings.

Training is based on quality improvement principles and is delivered through interactive workshops for up to about 100 delegates, and distance learning using the GSF Virtual Learning Zone, accompanied by supporting training materials customised for teams within the organisations. Currently there are 12 training programmes running - the GSF Quality Improvement Programmes in primary care, care homes, acute hospitals, community hospitals, domiciliary care organisations, hospice support, retirement villages and prisons, all of which lead to GSF Accreditation and the well-regarded GSF Quality Hallmark Award. Over 800 teams have been GSF accredited across all sectors, with several being 3rd and 4th time accredited 12 years on. GSF Hospital accreditation has been recognised by CQC as the only End of Life Care accredited scheme for hospitals to be included as CQC’s information source.

In addition, there is a GSF cross boundary care programme and 3 subject areas of dementia, spiritual care and clinical skills. Training programmes include all training tools, measures and support including impact evaluations and on-line audits. The National Skills Academy for Social Care awarded GSF Centre CIC Recognised status and was recognised as a Centre of Excellence in Adult Social Care training in March 2011 and this has been repeated every year since.

The training is delivered by GSF Centre CIC staff, clinical associates and recognised facilitators who have embraced the vision of GSF and been trained accordingly.  To enable the training to be more far reaching, GSF Centre CIC has developed an expanding network of 16 GSF Regional Training Centres, with intrinsic quality assurance of training and local facilitation.  In addition, the on-line training of 6 programmes continues through the GSF Virtual Learning Zone.

The key points of GSF in all settings are summarised in the 1357 GSF Summary, building on 3 GSF pillars of identifying people in the last year of life early, assess their personal and clinical needs  and planning living well and dying well. These GSF principles now being mainstreamed and advocated as best practice in national policy, which promotes care that is proactive, personalised and well-coordinated, specifically in the NHSE 2019 Long Term Plan, The GPs’ Contract Quality Outcome Framework and the 2019 NICE Guidance on End of Life care Service Delivery.