EARLY Toolkit for Primary Care

Why is early identification important in palliative and end of life care?

Earlier identification of patients who may be in the last 12 months of their life is important because this gives people the opportunity to be involved in planning for their future care.  This could include thinking about the type of care they would like or would not like, where they would like to be cared for, who should be involved in their care and can help with planning for loved ones.

What are we doing to support professionals?

EARLY is an electronic search toolkit that runs in EMIS, SystmOne and Vision Web. The tool was developed in the North West in collaboration with colleagues in NE London.  It works within GP electronic patient records to help identify people who are likely to be in their last year of life. It searches Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMEDCT) codes based on a range of prognostic indicator guidance including the Gold Standards Framework Proactive Identification Guidance (GSF PIG) and the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool  (SPICT) resources, and following extensive clinical development.

The purpose of this toolkit is to support colleagues in Primary Care settings in the early identification of people who may be in  their last year of life who may benefit from an opportunity to discuss a personalised care plan, which is shared on a local Electronic palliative Care Coordination System (EPaCCS).  A webinar on how to use the toolkit, delivered by Dr Andrew Fletcher, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, and Dr Lottie Reddick, GP, recorded in November 2021 can be accessed via the link below.

Within the toolkit there are several resources included with the EARLY package, which include patient information and guidance for managing Supportive or Palliative Care Registers.

If you have used the tool and would like to leave feedback for the EARLY team please email: England.EARLY@nhs.net

For the public

EPaCCS patient information leaflet

Healthy Liverpool video

People’s Voice is a group of lay people who have lived experience of, or an interest in, palliative and end of life care. If you would like to get involved in our People’s Voice you can find more information here.