NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has introduced a new Shared Care Record to help ensure that people get the best possible clinical care at the end of their lives.

The ‘Shared Care Record for the expected last days of life’ will be available from 15 January. Developed by clinicians and people from health, care and voluntary organisations across the county, it is written in a way which means it can be used and shared by healthcare professionals in any care setting, as well as the person and their carers. It documents the signs, symptoms, treatment and care the person receives, ensuring that their wishes are followed, and that their last days are as comfortable and positive as they can be.

Dr Hein Le Roux, GP and Clinical Lead for End of Life Care with the CCG said:

“Communicating clearly and compassionately makes an enormous difference, especially when people are in their final days, weeks or months. We hope this new Shared Care Record will help staff to really make a difference through practical support, good communication and compassion to the person at the end of their life as well as to their families and carers.”

The Record was informed by feedback from a six-month trial, led by clinicians, following the demise of the Liverpool Care Pathway last year, and it focuses on the five key principles outlined in the Priorities of Care for the Dying Person report, published by the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People.

These principles include: recognising that the person may die soon and acting in accordance with their needs and wishes; communicating sensitively; involving the dying person and the people who are important to them; supporting and respecting the needs that are important to the people involved; and following an individual plan of care for symptoms, psychological, social and spiritual support.

Gina King, Commissioning Manager for End of Life Care with the CCG and

Quality Improvement Lead for the South West Strategic Clinical Network, said:

“Talking about and planning for death and dying is never easy, whether this is about you or the people you care for. We hope that our new Shared Care Record will support health professionals in their responsibilities and empower important skills in understanding and knowledge about how to care for people who are close to death.”