Background People in the UK are living longer and if this trend continues, it is estimated that 160,000 more people in the UK will require palliative input by 2040 (Etkind, Bone, Gomes, et al. BMC Med. 2017;15: 102). Nearly 500,000 people live in care homes across the UK (Michas. Care home population in the UK 2020. Statista. 2021 June 01) with the care home population projected to rise by 127% over the next 20 years (Kingston, Comas-Herrera, Jagger. Lancet Public Health 2018,3: 447–55) and suggestions that care homes will be the most common place of death by 2040 (Bone, Gomes, Etkind, et al. Palliat Med. 2018;32(2):329–33).
Aim The Share and Learn Network aims to:
Facilitate the exchanging of palliative care knowledge and resources with input from the hospice.
Offer a platform where care home staff can offer support, and share ideas and knowledge with colleagues in other care homes.
Method Jan. 2022. Steering group (two care home managers, members of the Hospice Education & Research and Marketing teams, lay expert by experience and trustee) met to plan implementation of the project:
6 weekly 1-hour sessions offered online: session topics chosen by care homes; open to ALL care home staff.
Access to five e-learning courses for relevant staff members.
Invitations to networking events with other care homes.
Collection of quantitative and qualitative data for evaluation purposes.
The cost of the network was set at £300 per care home per year, including access to the network for ALL staff and a 10% discount to other specified hospice programmes.
Results The first session was held in September 2022. Feedback from attendees was positive, especially by non-care staff such as housekeepers and catering staff, who rarely receive end of life care training. Attendees noted that sharing of practical aspects of care such as oral care products at the end of life was helpful for everyday practice.
Conclusion Both direct care and non-care staff value a network where they can learn and share aspects of palliative care practice.
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