Background The End of Life Care Strategy (DH, 2008) emphasised the need to raise the quality of care provided to people dying in care homes. Many residents die in hospital following unnecessary emergency admission hours or days before their death. Accordingly, there is a need for care home staff to receive necessary training and support to ensure the provision of good end of life care, reduce the number of unplanned hospital admissions and enable more people to die in their place of choice.
Aims A model training programme was developed to provide education and training for care home staff to enhance their skills and knowledge. This provided the potential to improve the quality and standard of end of life care and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.
Method All care homes (n=97) within a North West PCT were invited to participate in the training programme. Selected staff (Key Champions) from participating care homes were surveyed to gain understanding of their knowledge and practice. Subsequently, the training programme consisted of a series of workshops and participants were required to complete consolidation tasks in between workshops. The tasks directly related to the topics covered within the workshop and provided opportunity for participants to demonstrate transfer of knowledge to the Care Home environment. Participants were encouraged to meet regularly with their Manager to discuss progress. The Project Team reviewed all tasks completed by participants and provided written and verbal feedback.
Conclusion The programme is due to complete at the end of the 2011 and will be evaluated to establish whether project aims have been achieved. The evaluation will include a Training Needs Analysis, Self Reported Confidence Scale, and Staff Questionnaire. It is anticipated that this initiative will increase care home staffs' ability and confidence in providing effective end of life care.
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