MIKE McCartney has backed a campaign encouraging GPs to sign up to a scheme helping them improve the care they provide to people who are seriously ill or dying.

Artist and photographer Mike, the younger brother of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, showed his support for the Daffodil Standards scheme, developed by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and terminal illness charity Marie Curie during a launch this week.

The Daffodil Standards are designed to support GPs and practice staff in delivering the best possible care to patients living with an advanced, serious illness or at the end of their lives, and their loved ones.

By adopting the Standards, GP practices commit to making ongoing improvements in eight core aspects of care, including how to better identify patients in need of support early on and how to support them as their condition progresses, as well as how to provide better support to family members before and after the death of a loved one.

Speaking at the RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference at ACC Liverpool, Marie Curie supporter Mike McCartney said: "It's so important that patients and families who are going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives receive the best possible care and support from within their own community.

"The Daffodil Standards are significant in ensuring that busy GPs and practice staff have the support they need to make step by step improvements to the quality of care provided to every patient.

"The initiative is something I’m proud to support and I hope that more practices across Merseyside and the UK recognise its importance and sign up."

To date more than 20 surgeries across Merseyside have signed up to the Daffodil Standards, covering a population of 150,000.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "I'm delighted to be here in Liverpool highlighting the impact that our work with Marie Curie to support GPs and our teams to deliver the best possible care to patients at or near the end of their lives is having – and to encourage more practices to sign up to our Daffodil Standards.

"Making sure that patients and their families are supported at the end of life is an essential part of what we do as GPs, but demand to provide the high-quality palliative care that patients deserve is only set to rise as our population continues to live longer and with more complex, long-term conditions.

"The Daffodil Standards aim to support practices to deliver the best end of life care possible with often limited time and resources, by using easy-to-implement steps and actions that we know are making a real difference to patients and their families."

Local GP surgeries can find out more information about the Daffodil Standards and sign up to receive a free welcome pack at www.rcgp.org.uk/daffodilstandards.