Hartlepool’s McKenzie Group Practice was awarded a national Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award for outstanding end of life and palliative care after putting in a “huge amount of work” over the course of nearly three years.
The award recognises health and social care providers that deliver quality care in the final year of life.
It means the practice is providing a range of additional support, including placing patients on a special gold register so they can get prescriptions quicker.
The practice also offers support to family members and carers and has a team of practitioners who can deliver care at patients’s homes.
McKenzie Group is running practices based at Victoria Medical Centre, Throston Medical Practice in Wiltshire Way, McKenzie House, in Kendal Road and Wynyard Road Medical Centre.
More than 300 patients across the group practice are currently benefiting from the service.
"This is all done for the whole of the practice. Everybody in the team can identify very clearly that these patients need extra care and support,” said clinical nurse manager Nikki Easton.
She continued: "I’m over the moon now, because I just know if a patient comes out of hospital now with a diagnosis, we have a system in place that they go through, some person comes to me, I put them on the register and then I make sure that the care is put in place.
"It’s streamlined, so no one slips through the net.
"That’s your worry, isn’t it, that people get diagnosed elsewhere and we are not aware of it.”
The group is hoping other GP practices in the area will also be inspired to work towards the award and is aiming to get a distinction when it is reassessed in 2025.
Thanking the team, Nikki said: "We are hoping that because we have done it, it will then give other practices in the area the incentive to do it.
"We’ve recently took over Gladstone Practice, so we’re going to put them through the process as well. That’s our plan for the next three years.”