19 October 2018

Supporting Patients at the End of Life Is an ‘Essential Part’ of General Practice, Says College

Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown, RCGP Joint Honorary Secretary, has responded to a new report by the Royal College of Physicians about the importance of talking to patients about end of life care.

 She said: “The entire relationship between GP and patient is based on good communication, and we have a unique role in the NHS of caring for our patients from when they are born to the end of their lives. 

“Making sure patients and their families feel supported at the end of life is an essential part of what we do, and in many ways, one of the most privileged aspects of our role.

“We understand that people might not always feel comfortable talking about end of life care, but patients should feel reassured that GPs are highly-trained to have sensitive conversations with them and their families in order to ensure that their plans and wishes are met.

“Society places huge importance on talking about birth – and rightly so – but this should also extend to talking about death and making sure our patients are given the right support and guidance when they are at their most vulnerable.

“We are pleased that the report highlights this and hope it will help GPs and other healthcare professionals with their conversations on these important issues in the best interests of our patients and their families.”

Further Information
RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633/7410
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.