GSF signposting and guidance on the Coronavirus Epidemic

During this serious COVID-19 crisis, we are even more aware of the hard work and dedication of our fantastic staff in health and social care and want to send you our appreciation and all good wishes. We know you are doing your best under such difficult circumstances.  We know you are doing your best under such difficult circumstances.  For those that are GSF trained and accredited, we hope that your use of GSF is helping you now at this most difficult and unprecedented time. But also, we know that other specific information might be helpful for you including:-  

Information from The GSF Centre - including resources that might be helpful

  • Advance care planning offered to everyone.  We at GSF have always recommended that all identified patients/residents/clients are offered the chance to have an advance care planning discussion, and with their families, including resuscitation discussions/DNACPR/Treatment Escalation Plans and for those with dementia as Best Interest discussions.  But now in the current COVID19 crisis, this is even more important and is recommended by many to be offered for all people in vulnerable groups and discussed and recorded where possible (though of course, never forced). This obviously would be reviewed and should now include their wishes specifically related to the current pandemic, notably their thoughts on resuscitation, hospitalisation and ventilation. Do use any of the many ACP tools to do this, eg., your usual ACP tool, the GSF Thinking Ahead or 5 Steps to ACP flyer or any others, but to include the questions specific to COVID 19 now, so that peoples’ wishes and preferences are clarified should they later become unwell.  And ensure that this information is known to your staff, passed on to your GP practices, which then should get to the Out-of-hours providers and thereby to urgent emergency services or ambulance staff.
     
  • Do use GSF resources eg., ‘Five simple steps to ACP’.  One of the freely available resources we at GSF share is the ‘5 Steps to Advance Care Planning’ animated video that we recommend is played to encourage residents to discuss and document their wishes in whatever form that want. We think this would be useful to all, so we would be happy if you wanted to use this if not doing already, included on our ACP webpage along with other ACP guidance and sample tools - see http://www.goldstandardsframework.org.uk/advance-care-planning, or as a video on You Tube here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2k6U6inIjQ
     
  •  Bereavement care – We also recommend the bereavement work of Cruse, where they have a special section on Coronavirus and a helpline phone number which could be very helpful. https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus-dealing-bereavement-and-grief

 

Information from the UK Government

  • As you’ll know there is much guidance and information on the Gov.UK website related to coronavirus – see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.   This is the direct up-to-date link for everyone in primary care, secondary care and community health, social care and ambulance services - just click on the relevant tab for detailed support and guidance https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/

 

Information from others (which will be regularly updated so see latest versions)

  • Surge in Care for Elderly in USA - You might be interested to know what the US Medicaring national organisation are recommending in the USA, particularly anticipating a surge in care of elderly people, which might be relevant as we in the UK are also anticipating – see  https://medicaring.org/2020/03/24/covid-19-surge/

This is the time to be slow, Lie low to the wall, Until the bitter weather passes ... If you remain generous, Time will come good; And you will find your feet Again on fresh pastures of promise, Where the air will be kind, And blushed with beginning. Excerpt from John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Of course, we understand how hard this is at present at the frontline and we are sad to see the increased need for this work in end of life care, but really hope that all the GSF learning over the years is, particularly now, of help to you at this important time.  And to remember one key element of compassion is self-care – and we really hope that you can take the time and headspace to care for yourselves and your team well.

So, we send all good wishes to you and thank you for all you are doing.

Keri , Julie, Ginny and the rest of the GSF team