top of page
Icon Acute Hospitals.png

" GSF opened up a whole new way of looking at end of life care for us and helped make sense of the journey. The result is that we can now help people have a better life now and a  more personalised death.”

 Team Leader GSF Accredited Hospital Dorset


The GSF Hospitals Training Programme

The Gold Standards Framework Hospitals Training and Accreditation programme has been used in the UK since 2008 by over 100 acute and community hospitals, with 12 whole hospital projects covering all wards, and dozens of wards GSF  accredited and reaccredited 3 years on with the Quality Hallmark Awards. 

This very successful, evidence-based GSF Hospital Programme in End of Life Care is built on the use of GSF in the community since 2000, and now is a key part of the use by Integrated Care Systems as Cross Boundary Care sites  involving GSF in all sectors.


Improving End of Life Care in hospitals is recognised as being crucial to enhancing care for the wider population. With earlier identification of patients in their last year of life and more advance care planning, there can be better quality of care for patients, fewer hospital deaths, re-admissions and a reduction in hospital bed days, with fewer crisis admissions and more enabled to die at home.

GSF Hospitals in a Nutshell 

GSF in Hospitals- example of excellence  from Southport  and Ormskirk , UK 

Mic Richards.jpg

The hospital death rate in the UK has fallen over recent years and is now under 50% of all deaths. Also evidence confirms that about 30% of hospital patients are in the final year of life ( See here Clarke 2014 Imminence of Death ), so earlier identification can lead to better planned proactive care in the final years of life.  

Recognition by the regulator CQC

GSF is seen in the UK as a marker of excellence, a means of putting national policy into practice (eg NICE Guidance in EOLC and UK National policies in End of Life Care).


GSF is  recognised by the regulator (in England the Care Quality Commission-CQC) – GSF is the only CQC-approved End of Life care Accreditation scheme in acute or community hospitals in England. 

"GSF has helped us be much better at identifying significant changes in patients’ condition and then explaining this to families.

We are now able to walk alongside them on the journey"

Ward Manager GSF Accredited Hospital Dorset .

Whole Hospital1.jpg
Hosp graphic 1.png

What is involved in the GSF Hospitals training?

The GSF-I  Hospitals Programme reflects the work of GSF -UK hospitals programme , but would be adapted to each setting, requirement  and culture. It includes:

  • Training films and workshops –structured interactive workshops sharing good practice and step-by-step progress to  support implementation in practice.

  • Tools and resources – All resources required including teaching materials, posters, films, leaflets, ward folders, Good Practice guides etc.

  • Measures – Intrinsic evaluations showing progression with  evaluations at the organisational, patient and staff  level and are aligned with national targets

  • Support – discussions on tailoring GSF to local needs and context, and  individualised coaching sessions between workshops as require.

  • Hospital Accreditation has been developed in the UK and is possible for international programmes with modifications - to be discussed  if interested .  It is important to align with  national policies and standards so to tailor for each country


Dr Linda Wilson describes progress of GSF in Airedale Hospital, Yorkshire and the value of the Gold Line for Gold patients 

Dr Karen Groves describes  how GSF was introduced in 2010 to Southport Hospital and the impact it has made in improving end of life care for all.  

 Example from Dorset Community Hospital 

Experience of GSF in UK hospitals

"I think the biggest change has been the culture change... it’s about getting patients and their families to take ownership of their care. GSF is the framework that allows us to make that happen.


The best bit is making sure that patients receive the care they want, where they want it, when and how they want it and the satisfaction they and we get from that."

Dr Kumar, Stroke Consultant

Royal Lancaster Infirmary

"GSF has helped bring the team together in a way none of us had expected. Everyone, including the domestic staff feel engaged and have come up with brilliant ideas for how we can deliver even better care." 

Dr Elisabeth Bjorndal, Palliative Care Consultant

Margaret Centre at Whipps Cross Hospital.

 “Implementation of GSF is encouraging a systematic approach to recognising those patients in hospital who might be in their last year of life, leading to more proactive care and opportunities for people to consider and express their wishes and preferences.” 

Dr Clare Marlow, Consultant Palliative Medicine 

Wolverhampton Hospital

"I’m really proud of both our teams for achieving this. It’s been a lot of hard work, especially when they have a lot of competing priorities.


The most important thing about identifying patients who are nearing the end of their lives is that it gives them more choice and control over their own care."

Heather Wright, Palliative Care team leader

Barking Havering and Redbridge

Experience of GSF in non-UK hospitals

South Africa

An initial GSF-led scoping week was undertaken  in a large 1000 bed hospital in Cape Town in 2016.The development of early identification of patients using the GSF PIG was a great start in enabling more people receive improved proactive care, and there was further teaching in advance care planning with the spiritual care and social work teams.


Also some GSF principles were used in the Abundant Life Project from 2009, which continues to support patients to live as well as possible, and receive improved levels of support and palliative care 

South Africa Groot Schur Hospital and Abundant Life Project

Victoria Hospital 

Further Reading


An in Introduction of GSF principles of early identification and offering of earlier advance care planning discussions  were helpful in several hospitals in Japan.


The work was led by Dr Senda Geriatrician  Department Home Care Promotion, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Japan and followed a visit by Prof Keri Thomas in 2016

  • GSF Frontrunners in Hospitals - See case studies and examples from GSF Accredited hospital wards  demonstrating what is possible to achieve and the considerable progress made. To view, click here


  • GSF- UK Hospital Training Information Flyer -  from the GSF Centre based in the UK for GSF-UK work in hospitals. A similar programme is available for GSF International with remote teaching and on-line films. To view, click here

bottom of page