Background Healthcare and Wellbeing Assistants (HCAs/WBAs) provide a significant amount of care at the bedside for patients within the hospice. However, there is little end of life care education available to support this specific group of staff. The need for highly skilled, enabled workforce across all components of the hospice is key. Therefore, the piloting of this educational intervention was undertaken.
Aims To pilot an end-of-life care educational intervention to enable HCAs/WBAs, build confidence and skills when caring for individuals with life-limiting illness whilst providing opportunities to influence, change and improve overall patient care.
Method The educational intervention consisted of several components: 1) five theory- based modules demonstrating learning through observation in practice; 2) a project where there was the potential to influence improvements in patient care/experience and demonstrate a clear rationale on how this was to be achieved; 3) projects were then presented by the individuals who had undertaken them, to senior management, line managers and work colleagues on the final day of the course.
Results 41% (13) HCAs/WBAs had completed the end of life care educational intervention. HCAs and WBAs completed projects that have influenced practice including the introduction of smoothies for patients, changes to patient bathroom environments, introduction of white boards to support patient choice and a unique ‘Bring a Smile’ initiative in support of patient wishes. The project’s breadth of topics, demonstrates that learning takes place both in the classroom and in the participants’ clinical environment when education, wider team support and coaching are employed.
Conclusion The end of life care educational intervention was branded as the ‘Passport Programme’ as it comprised multiple components demonstrating a variety of skills that have capitalised on this group of staff who are not usually at the forefront of innovating and enhancing the patients’ and family experience of hospice care.
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