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P-256 ‘Growing our own.’ A 7-day hospice nurse development programme in specialist palliative care
  1. Heather Wiseman,
  2. Simon Edgecombe and
  3. Alison Bacon
  1. St John’s Hospice, Lancaster, UK


Background Following the COVID-19 pandemic and a number of staff changes within the nursing teams at the hospice, it was identified that nurses had varying levels of palliative care education and experience and would benefit from some core training in specialist palliative care to enhance and update their skills and increase their confidence.

Aim To establish and deliver a set of core training for all Registered Nurses (RNs) in the hospice teams (n=39) involved in delivering specialist palliative care.

Method Designed by one of the hospice Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) and the Medical Director, the course is delivered predominantly by the ANP but with a range of social workers and medical team members, and funded using the hospice’s budgeted CPD allowance. Teaching time is within existing job roles.

Course design The 5 day course is delivered over 10 weeks as a modular rolling programme – one day per fortnight plus an Advanced Communication Skills training course as a follow up 2 day event. Nurses attend the course in cohorts of 8. Learning is targeted at the nurses’ development needs and uses a number of cases which evolve through the modules. The last module aims to pull together all prior learning as the cases evolve to draw on new skills and knowledge.

Benefits/results 30 RNs have completed the 5 day course to date. 94% session evaluations indicate that nurses thought the session would greatly influence their practice. Overall course evaluations are excellent. Nurses report that their knowledge and confidence has improved. They also identify feeling invested in by the organisation and that working across ward and community teams has supported integrated working.

Conclusion The delivery of a set of core training to hospice nurses in their workplace, targeted at their development needs has increased their knowledge and confidence and may help staff retention, development and service delivery in the future.

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