New standards on end of life care with charity Marie Curie

We've teamed up with the UK’s leading end of life charity Marie Curie to launch a partnership to develop professional standards in end of life care for community pharmacy. 

The Standards will be available for pharmacy teams across the whole of the UK and will provide a free, evidence-based framework to help community pharmacies self-assess and continuously improve their end of life and bereavement care for patients and carers. They will enable community pharmacy teams to work together to develop their practice.

RPS is setting up a professional standard steering group consisting of community pharmacy experts, experts within the field of palliative and end of life care, lay members, and healthcare professionals who interact with community pharmacy. There will also be an opportunity for interested individuals to help shape the work through a wider reference group.

This work will align with the established Royal College of GPs and Marie Curie ‘Daffodil Standards for advanced serious illness and end of life care’ for GP Practices.

Elen Jones, the Director Lead for palliative care work at RPS, said:

“RPS has a long-term commitment, striving to ensure that people living with life-limiting conditions who are approaching the end of life have timely access to medicines and clinical support from a skilled pharmacy team. The development of these standards, in partnership with Marie Curie, is a crucial step to support community pharmacy teams to undertake simple quality improvement measures and build upon the care they already provide to this group of patients and carers.”

Darrell Baker, Chair of the Daffodil Standards steering group, said:

“In my previous role as Clinical Director of Pharmacy and Medicines Management, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Wales, I was the palliative care lead for the chief pharmacists’ peer group in Wales. Having been a part of the steering group that supported the development of the RPS policy work on Palliative & End of Life Care in 2018, I am now delighted to be chairing the steering group that will be developing these critically important Standards. Patients should expect to experience high quality, coordinated care, community pharmacy teams have a crucial role to play in supporting patients at the end of life and their families."

Dr Sarah Holmes, Marie Curie UK Medical Director and Palliative Care Consultant, said:

“From talking to families that we support, it is clear that health services received in the community such as support from community pharmacy can make such a difference to how patients and families experience end of life care and bereavement.  Having someone they can go to who they already know well, and trust is vitally important at such a difficult time.

"The new Daffodil Standards will play a key role in excellent end of life care and ensure that busy community pharmacists and the pharmacy team have the support they need to continually build upon and improve the quality of care they provide to people at the end of life and those important to them. We look forward to this collaboration with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and to supporting the implementation of these Standards in pharmacies across the UK once produced.”

The Daffodil Standards for Community Pharmacy are due to launch within the next twelve months. 

For more information on the development of the Standards and for those interested in helping to shape this work, please contact: [email protected]

The Palliative Care Formulary has been part of Medicines Complete since 2019

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