St.Christopher’s Hospice, built in the 1960s has always delivered professional education alongside services. In 2017 architects, hospice experts and brand leaders collaborated to design and open a new facility to transform learning opportunities, and place discussion and dissemination of best practice in end-of-life care at the heart of the local community. Our ambitions were two-fold – to find every opportunity to increase knowledge and confidence around end of life across professionals; then to extend and integrate learning available to the public, drawing on insights of people expert by experience. We needed a carefully designed multi-functional building.
An accommodation schedule for the building was developed through consultation, describing a range of flexible learning spaces that would:
Draw in and facilitate face-to-face learning for groups of different sizes.
Support virtual and blended events.
Provoke curiosity through exhibitions and additional information.
Encourage new relationships and connections.
The architects continue to guide hospice colleagues to optimise use of the space. Shared learning opportunities are part of this – including sustained efforts to implement a contemporary model of palliative nursing with attention to both nursing practice and physical environment.
We opened CARE in Sept. 2021. In the last year alone we reached over 10,000 professional learners and thousands of community members through a rich programme comprising face-to-face and virtual events. Our reach is local, national and global – with learners from over 55 countries in the last 12 months. Feedback from learners is very positive, with confirmation that they intend continuing to learn with CARE. CARE is more than a building – it is a philosophy and contemporary approach to improving end of life through learning. Development calls for experts beyond practitioners and educationalists including architects; its ongoing growth and impact calls for the same.
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