“End of life care is an area in which this country (UK) has excelled and we need to celebrate this. Patients all over the world are being cared for using the model developed here. The spread to generalists is critical and GSF plays a vital part in this.”
Niall Dickson Former CEO GMC
GSF Africa Pilots
Abundant Life at Victoria Hospital
Cape Town, South Africa
In 2009 Keri was invited to speak to a group of doctors and nurses at Victoria Hospital Cape Town about her experience enabling generalists in the UK.
There she met two doctors, Drs Lindi Van Niekerk and Clint Cupido who wished to model a similar pilot project there, in response to the considerable needs of hospital patients with life-limiting conditions in the final years of life, who were often receiving minimal support at this very challenging time.
These ideas were then developed further to become the Abundant Life project, an innovative and ambitious programme part funded by the local Rotary Club.
This project continues to serve many hundreds of people in the Victoria hospital area of Cape Town.
The wonderful Abundant Life team provided training in palliative care skills as well as access to palliative care trained nurses on the wards and encouraged regular Saturday morning patient support groups.
This was researched by Richard Harding and his team at Kings College London and a paper published.
In 2019 they celebrated 10 years of Abundant Life and Keri and Mark were able to visit the team whilst in South Africa.
We continue to be considered the ‘grandparents of Abundant Life'.
To visit the Abundant Life website, click here
To read a published article on Abundant Life click here
Groot Schuur Hospital
Abundant Life also undertook a project in the large 1000 bed Groot Schuur Hospital in Cape Town led by senior doctor Dr Peter Reuhenheimer and Lindi Van Niekerk.
In July 2016 Keri, Mark and Chris Elgar from the GSF Centre were invited to the hospital for a week’s scoping visit, funded by support from the UK and SA Rotary Clubs.
After some initial teaching, the process involved listening to the teams, reflecting on the issues they were facing and raising awareness of possible solutions.
This led to breakthroughs by the medical team in using an adapted early identification tool (PIG) in order to support earlier palliative and supportive care.
A paper was later published on early identification using PIG within the hospital by Peter Reuhenheimer.
To read their published article on use of GSF PIG , click here
We returned in 2019 to give some further teaching on advance care planning ACP and spiritual care, working with medical, nursing and social work staff and chaplaincy team.
This involved discussions with Sr Jenny (Lead sister) and others from the Palliative Care team, using an adaptation of the GSF 5 Steps video to Advance Care Planning (African version) and a training session with faith and religious leaders (see right) , giving them access to all ACP resources for further use and development .
Further resources were sent by email following this with discussions on developing more ACP in the hospital.
Abundant Life Palliative Care, Victoria Cape Town, South Africa 2019 The Andrew Rodger Trust
The Groot Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
African Palliative Care Association
The work with APCA and the Andrew Rodger Trust to pilot an adapted form of GSF in Africa is commencing in 2021 , as the African countries slowly emerge from the COVID pandemic. The principles of GSF in enabling generalists to optimise their skills in caring for people in the last stage of life , are well received by many in Africa and by APCA (African Palliative Care Association). This builds on the understanding that 'end of life care is everyone's business ' and that the wider family and communities can all play a key part in this area.
Working with APCA and the national palliative care associations, two pilots in 2 locations are being planned. Following scoping discussions and local needs analysis, GSF will be adapted, using on-line training, supportive zoom workshops, local facilitation and agreed evaluation metrics.
We plan to undertake a research study to evaluate findings from the initial Phase 1 study, to make refinements as needed and roll this out further to other interested countries.
We hope to present initial findings at the next virtual APCA Conference in August 2022.
More information and sharing examples and experience will be added later. For any enquiries contact us and we'd be happy to discuss this further.
To visit the APCA website, click here
GSF work in Africa
Working with Palliative Care Association