The integrated implementation of two end-of-life care tools in nursing care homes in the UK: an in-depth evaluation

Jo Hockley, J Watson, D Oxenham, S A Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In economically developed countries there is a rapidly increasing number of older people living and dying in care homes. The relative isolation of nursing care homes from the development of palliative care, the poor retention and recruitment of staff, and the lack of medical cover, hinder the provision of quality end-of-life care. End-of-life care strategies internationally highlight the benefit of using tools to help improve end-of-life care in care homes. All seven private nursing care homes within one district in Scotland undertook to implement, as a package, two end-of-life care tools, namely, the Gold Standards Framework for Care Homes (GSFCH) and an adapted Liverpool Care Pathway for Care Homes (LCP). A model of high facilitation, visiting the homes every 10-14 days with significant in-house staff training, was used to implement the 18-month programme. The notes of 228 residents who had died prior to and during the project were examined, alongside a staff audit looking at the effect that the project had on practice. A nurse researcher undertook qualitative interviews of bereaved relatives, pre-/post-implementation. This paper reports the results of an in-depth evaluation of professional practices and residents outcomes. There was a highly statistically significant increase in use of Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) documentation, advance care planning and use of the LCP. An apparent reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions and a reduction in hospital deaths from 15% deaths pre-study to 8% deaths post-study were also found. Further work is needed to assess the optimum input required for successful implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-38
Number of pages11
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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