The issue The need for high-quality, flexible, cost effective communication skills education for all groups of staff and all levels of experience was identified by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in our locality. In our hospice we deliver our own communication skills education programme (CLEARER Communication) with three levels of workshops – CARE, CLEAR and CLEAREST. These are very well evaluated and fitted the identified need. However, there was not enough capacity to meet the demand.
Why it is important We can provide excellent care when staff have knowledge, skills and confidence to communicate effectively and compassionately with patients, their families and each other. Education at the right level to achieve this must be readily accessible.
What is being done Working with the CCGs, we identified 10 workshop facilitators from partner organisations and planned their training. We successfully bid for funding from the Multi-Professional Education and Training (MPET) budget held by the CCGs to train facilitators, fund administrative support and deliver the workshops. The new facilitators will also build confidence by co-facilitating the CARE, CLEAR and CLEAREST workshops with the programme lead. Then they will each deliver all three workshops each quarter. Evaluation will be via pre and post course questionnaires, evaluation forms and impact assessments.
Expected outcomes Workshop places will increase from 100 per year to 2000. We expect to see an increase in knowledge, skill and confidence of participants. Ways of assessing impact on patient care are under development. Consistency and quality will be monitored by the programme lead.
Sustainability MPET Funding will allow the programme to be delivered free to staff of partner organisations until end 2018. Charging staff from other organisations will provide an income stream to support ongoing provision.
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