Using care profiles to commission end of life services

RJ Gandy, Brenda Roe, J Rogers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Aim: In early 2010, Liverpool Primary Care Trust (PCT) undertook a project to establish whether a care profiles methodology could be used to commission end-of-life (EoL) services. The Department of Health (DH) originally used them for a variety of services in the 1990s. The project sought to adapt the original care profiles structure for commissioning purposes, and produce a series of care profiles that would cover the full EoL care pathway. Background: The DH required PCTs in England to undertakelocal reviews of EoL services ahead of its publication of the National EoL Strategy in 2008. Related cross-sector work in Liverpool highlighted the need for a means of specifically commissioning EoL services. It was contended that care profiles offered the opportunity to set service requirements in respect of skill mix, delivery, quality and outcomes for each stage of the EoL pathway, which could be costed subsequently. Methods: An iterative approach was adopted involving workshops and consensus, based on action learning events, which incorporated and adapted past approaches for developing care profiles. Four half-day workshops were held, each targeting one EoL stage, with the outputs evaluated by an external reference group. A full cross-section of commissioning, provider and service user interests were involved. Findings: The project was successful, with its recommendations subsequently used to commission EoL services across Liverpool. It was concluded that the basic service requirements for EoL care are the same, irrespective of the related disease. The strength of care profiles is their simplicity and flexibility. They complement and augment integrated care pathways, and by requiring the recording of outcomes throughout the care process, they aid quality and audit processes. They should be transferable to other conditions, with benchmarking enabling improved efficiency. They represent the type of clinically relevant and detailed vehicle essential for clinical commissioning groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)106-119
    JournalPrimary Health Care Research and Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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