Society is aging and we are living longer. By 2035, deaths in the over 85’s will represent 50% of all deaths in the UK and older members of our society will be more likely to die in a hospital or care home (Calanzani et al 2013).
The NHS Health East of England ABC blended learning programme consists of 7 modules (face to face, e-learning or both), follow up workshops, resources, DVD’s, mentor support, audit materials and Train the Trainer project (http://www.endoflifecarelearning.co.uk/)
A recent evaluation comparing the ABC care home programme in Hertfordshire vs 2 national equivalents in Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Peterborough and Luton concluded:
Well-evaluated education, sustaining learners in practice resulting in athe most cost effective programme with highest completion rates (97%) and reduced hospital admissions.
Recomended education programme
‘Several features that have made the ABC Training Programme more accessible to nursing homes. These include the flexibility about when the training commences, and the fact that staff are able to complete modules within their own timeframe and at their own pace. This blended learning approach also combined the e-learning with visits to the nursing home where the trainers were able to provide additional support and encouragement to staff to complete the training’ (Pyper et al 2013).
‘It is recommended that as currently nursing homes staff turn-over is very high, EoLC standards are more likely to be maintained by commissioning the trainers to continue their relationships with the nursing homes and offer infrequent on-going support sessions as required.’ (Pyper et al 2013).
The ABC programme is now validated as an alternative end of life education programme making a difference combining learning with mentorship and site visits. This education model is recommended particularly for struggling care homes.