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13 Developing the palliative care clinical nurse specialist workforce – an innovative approach
  1. Lesley Charman,
  2. Charlotte Rock,
  3. Elizabeth Price,
  4. Vanessa Taylor,
  5. Kathryn Sartain and
  6. Catherine Malia
  1. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Harrogate and District Foundation Trust, University of Huddersfield, York NHS Trust, St Gemma’s Hospice


Background The specialist palliative care workforce is experiencing recruitment and retention challenges to Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) roles in all settings. In response, drawing on the End of Life Care Learning Outcomes (LO) (Taylor 2016), the Yorkshire CNS Workforce Group created a supra-regional CNS development programme (Dec 2019-July 2020) supported by HEE funding.

Twenty two participants across thirteen sites are supported by a local mentor to:

  • develop individual workplace development programmes using the LOs

  • receive support/on–going education

  • record evidence of achievement in the LO document.

Project aims:

  • sharing and delivery of education resources to multiple participants

  • formation of a community–of–practice for CNSs’/mentors

  • implementation of LOs using bespoke documentation, enabling regional benchmarking of CNS competence

  • development of e–portfolio enabling ‘pass–porting’ between organisations (hosted on HEE Website)

  • improve CNS confidence/knowledge/retention

Method Utilising the ECHO tele-education model, 6 interactive education sessions (presentation and case based discussion) will be live-streamed to participants in their place of work. Participants should participate in a minimum of 5 sessions. A participant focus group identified topics, ensuring relevant, practice-related learning. Participants and mentors implement individual workplace development programmes.

Evaluation To evaluate impact on knowledge, confidence, staff retention.

Completion of self-evaluation in relation to Learning Outcomes using Bondy Self-Assessment tool at beginning, during and end of project. Completion of validated Self-efficacy questionnaire pre and post course. Immediate evaluation using ECHO technology after each taught session (Likert scale). Comparative recruitment data analysis at end of project

Results Initial Feedback after first session, all 20 participants agree or strongly agree that:

• Participation increased knowledge and confidence

• They felt connected to other participants

• Topic was relevant to practice and LO

This innovative, collaborative project brings new CNSs together across a region and beyond, learning and developing together in a virtual cohort, to build confidence and knowledge.

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