Background: The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) was developed to improve the delivery of palliative care in general practice.
Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the first phase of GSF in terms of its acceptability to primary care teams, effectiveness in changing practice and professionals' views on the consequences for patient care.
Methods: A prospective longitudinal comparative survey of 12 participating, 12 matched and 18 other practices included focus groups and questionnaires.
Results: Participating practices reported that the GSF was acceptable. They also reported more standards successfully achieved than matched practices. Registers, team meetings and co-ordinated care were thought to have improved communication, teamwork, patient identification, assessment and care planning.
Conclusions: This small study suggests that the GSF appears to be acceptable and its early introduction to a few teams appears to have changed practice. Participants were positive about the effect on care. An evaluation of national uptake and further research into clinical outcomes is required.