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Whitgift House recognised for outstanding standard of end of life care.

The South Croydon care home has received the highest possible award of ‘Beacon Status’ by the Gold Standards Framework in Care Homes (GSFCH) Reaccredited Quality Hallmark Award, three years after they were first recognised, for the excellent way they care for their residents.

The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) is the UK’s most widely used end of life care training programme and Whitgift House has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to meeting the wishes of its residents in the final months of their lives through better planned, more coordinated and compassionate care.

More than 400 care homes in the UK have been accredited by the Gold Standards Framework, however only a quarter have received the top ‘Beacon Status’ award.

Staff at Whitgift House were presented with the award at the GSF Annual Conference in London on Friday 27 September 2013. The awards are endorsed by all major care homes’ organisations and Skills Academy for Social Care.

To be accredited, the home had to show that it met strict criteria in 20 different areas, ranging from leadership and support to dignity and respect, as well as submit a portfolio of evidence.

Whitgift House was particularly recognised for its strong leadership and coordination, person centred approach to care, working with others and reducing admissions to hospital.

Philomena Kavanagh, Head of Care, Whitgift House, said: “Obtaining the highest ‘Beacon Status’ accreditation by the Gold Standards Framework is the result of our staff’s hard work and commitment  to provide the very best in end of life care for our residents so that they no longer have to end their lives in hospital.

“We now work very closely with our GP and our staff have the confidence, training and support to talk to residents, plan their care and look after them in the home right up until their death.

“It is our firm belief that our residents should receive the sort of care we would want for ourselves or our loved ones. “

The GSF Quality Hallmark Award is recognised externally as a means of objective quality assurance by the Care Quality Commission and by commissioners – GSF is now used as part of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulation process for care homes.

Alan Rosenbach, Policy Lead for CQC who presented the awards, said: "At the CQC we place great value on the work of the GSF, which has undoubtedly helped to drive up standards of palliative care in care homes. The vital importance of this to people approaching the end of their life, and their families, can hardly be overstated."

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