A GP surgery in Somerset has won an award for palliative care.

Dunster and Porlock Surgeries won the Quality Hallmark Award for the Gold Standard Framework (GSF) in Palliative care in 2020.

The award was a result of three years of training for all staff at the practice.

Although Dunster and Porlock Surgeries received the award in July 2020, they were waiting to attend a ceremony in London postponed until December last year - but this was then cancelled completely due to the pandemic.

But now, with restrictions easing, the surgeries are ready to celebrate their achievement.

Dr Catherine Sherry, GP Partner at Dunster and Porlock surgeries, said: “The past year has been really challenging time for all of us working in GP surgeries.

“I think that our success with the GSF award demonstrates how we have continued to work tirelessly for this group of extremely vulnerable patients despite all the additional pressures from dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Both myself and my fellow GP Partners are extremely proud of all the hard work, dedication and commitment our team have shown towards obtaining this award over the past three years.

“We have been blown away by the motivation and flexibility everyone has shown in the face of such adversity during the pandemic.

“They have had to drop everything at short notice to help deliver the Covid-19 vaccination clinics and adapt to massive changes on the turn of a sixpence.

“We are so grateful to have such a fabulous team who continue to help our surgeries flourish.

“We would also like to extend our thanks to The Friends of Porlock Charity who supported us with funding towards the costs of the training for this award and Exmoor surgery in Dulverton for sharing their experience around obtaining the award a few years ago.”

The way the surgeries manage patients who need palliative care has changed completely since staff undertook the training.

They now have a monthly meeting with the community palliative nurse, and all staff members know how to spot people who might be heading in the direction of needing palliative care.

Professor Kiri Thomas, founder of the GSF framework and national clinical lead for palliative care, added: “Dunster and Porlock Surgeries obvious commitment to their ‘gold patients’, communication as a whole team and out of hours coordination were particularly noted, plus continuing to have virtual GSF monthly meetings during the pandemic.

“It is great to hear about your community palliative care nurse Sue who is obviously an inspiration.

“This is a great example of a compassionate, effective practice team, and I hope they continue to thrive and flourish.

“Well done to all the staff - they are all frontrunners and should all be greatly applauded for the high quality of your work.

“Congratulations on your achievements.”