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Poster Numbers 294 – 318 – Ethics, education & communication: Poster No: 317
Introduction and evaluation of an upskilling programme for GPs
  1. Helen Pegrum,
  2. Jane Naismith and
  3. Jane Brundish
  1. Florence Nightingale Hospice, Aylesbury, Bucks


In response to the educational needs of local GPs, as highlighted in their professional development plans and experience from day to day practice in palliative care, we set up a GP upskilling programme to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in specialist palliative and end of life care. The second aim was to improve patients' palliative and end of life care experience in the primary care setting. This new stand alone course offered a practical educational programme. It comprised nine taught sessions each session lasting 2 h incorporating a formal lecture followed by a facilitated discussion focusing on cases from practice. Participants were asked to implement a Palliative care initiative within General Practice. They had to pick an area of palliative care within their practice for example, reviewing opioid prescribing or improving ‘Out of hours’ communication. They looked at current practice, implemented a change and assessed its effect over the following 8 months, presenting the results at the tenth session. Following the course attendees would be able to: 1. Manage common palliative care symptoms effectively in the community. 2. Deal with palliative care emergencies. 3. Have a clear understanding of the End of Life Care strategy and how it can be used to support end of life care in practice. 4. Identify which patients may benefit from certain interventions for symptom control for example acupuncture, nerve blocks, chemo and radiotherapy Evaluation: Each session was evaluated and the programme was adapted in light of participants' comments. For example, increased syringe driver training. End of course evaluations showed high satisfaction and learning. A further questionnaire was sent out 4 months after course completion showing increased confidence and on-going learning. In the future we would like run a series of master classes and set up a palliative care interest group to cement and further the learning.

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