Background A National Council for Palliative Care workforce survey (2011) highlighted a predicted specialist nurse workforce crisis with the ageing workforce and difficulties in recruiting the required levels of skill and competence.
Estimates show 25–65% of the population will require specialist palliative care in the last year of life. Consequently, the PCCNS workload is predicted to increase significantly and planning is required to meet this demand (Calanzani et al., 2013).
Locally, there is an inability to recruit PCCNS with the required skills, knowledge and experience, this is reflected nationally (Macmillan Cancer Support, 2014). Innovative ways to develop the workforce include introducing palliative care development posts, this was regarded as an opportunity to introduce skill mix whilst developing the specialist nurses of the future.
Introducing development posts has enabled comprehensive mentorship from expertise within the existing team with the ethos to ‘grow your own’ and develop the Hospice’s PCCNS workforce of the future.
A comprehensive development framework programme has been produced for completion by all palliative care nurse development post-holders over a two year period gaining experience within both the acute hospital and community settings.
Aim Implementation of the development programme is to ensure the organisation has a future workforce of PCCNS with the required skills, knowledge, values and expertise.
Method Completion of a Development Framework, encompassing clinical expertise, leadership, innovation and education.
Potential Outcomes: Standardised, evidence based and individualised approach to the development of future PCCNS across acute and community services.
Clinical and experiential skills within the existing team are ‘passed on’ to the future workforce encompassing the values, attitudes and behaviours associated with the PCCNS role.
Current and Future Relevance
Pro active and innovative way of responding to workforce crisis.
Promoting the ethos of the organisation.
Recognising and supporting achievement and individual ambition.
Potential contribution nationally to the development of PCCNS.
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