This paper reports findings from a study which investigated the introduction of the Gold Standards Framework for improving end-of-life care into care homes in England.Background.
The Gold Standards Framework was developed in primary care to improve the care provided for people at the end-of-life. Following its successful introduction to this setting it was adapted and implemented in care homes.Design.
A case study approach was appropriate for this study of a care programme into a ‘real life’ setting.Method.
Fourteen managers participated in an initial telephone interview. Ten of these homes participated in the case study phase and 61 staff participated in individual or group interviews. Seven residents and three relatives participated in face to face interviews. Qualitative data were analysed in line with the template approach. Survey data were also analysed and a validated Teamworking Questionnaire was used.Results.
It was found that teamwork is central to the successful introduction of the Gold Standards Framework in Care Homes. Good staffing levels and management support were also perceived to be key factors in homes where the Framework became established.Conclusion.
Effective teamwork was necessary for changes in end-of-life care to be achieved in the care homes. If end-of-life care and other improvements in practice are to continue, teamwork will need to be supported and developed.Relevance to clinical practice.
Effective teamwork appears to be a pre-requisite for successful implementation of new programmes of care. Organisations wishing to implement such programmes should assess the quality of teamwork and may need to address this first.