Royal College of GPs

Royal College of GPsIn 2013, Marie Curie started a partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to improve end of life care provided to patients by GPs. This partnership is now into its fourth year with various projects underway

As part of this partnership, a new Clinical Lead for End of Life Care was appointed. This post is now led by Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders who works part-time with the RCGP. It was previously held by Dr Peter Nightingale.  

Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders leads a programme of work that will improve primary care provision for patients nearing the end of their life, including vulnerable people such as those with dementia, learning disabilities and autism. She's supported by a part-time Clinical Fellow who is also funded through this partnership.

Dr Millington-Sanders says: "I am so pleased to be able to work with Marie Curie in leading the College's work in this hugely important but challenging area of work. The role of the GP and their practice colleagues is critical in ensuring people get first-class end of life care."

Simon Jones, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, says: "We see this partnership as a defining moment in improving end of life care and helping GPs to deliver the best possible support to people with end of life needs."

Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders, RCGP and Marie Curie National End of Life Care Clinical Champion

Priorities and outcomes 

The programme is prioritising advanced care planning, pain management, health inequalities and commissioning issues. It is also looking at how the RCGP can focus its attention more directly on end of life care by developing a position statement and reviewing its College curriculum.

Proposed outcomes include:

  • new clinical guidelines for GPs and primary care teams
  • online toolkits and support for healthcare professionals
  • promotion of primary care training in the area of end of life care
  • identification of local and national developments in end of life care to shape RCGP policy
  • influence and support for clinical commissioning groups in end of life care planning
  • formation of a standing group on end of life care

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