In 2010, Liverpool PCT pioneered a care profiles approach to commissioning End of Life (EoL) services. This enabled comprehensive service requirements to be set in respect of skill mix, delivery, quality and outcomes for each stage of the EoL pathway.
The project involved a series of action learning-related workshops, each targeting one EoL stage. Consensus was developed among participants with commissioning, provider and service user interests, with outputs evaluated by an external reference group. A number of innovations were introduced, and it was concluded that the basic service requirements for EoL care are the same irrespective of the related disease.
The project was a success, with its recommendations used to commission EoL services across Liverpool. Care profiles are simple and flexible, and complement and augment integrated care pathways. They can support GP commissioning by providing clinically relevant and detailed information to specify and cost services.
Commissioned EoL services will vary between PCTs, to reflect local geography, history, service models and resources. Therefore care profiles serve to clarify exactly what services are available locally. Summary information extracted from the care profiles, would be appropriately tailored and presented, and made available across all professionals and providers to ensure patients and carers receive consistent, detailed information irrespective of which discipline happens to lead on their advanced care planning.
It follows that EoL care profiles can be used to support advanced care planning, by assuring the range, quality and consistency of information given to patients and carers, with any potential choices highlighted.
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