Introduction and Aim An initiative with a further education college, a University and local employers identified a need for formal training within end of life care within the care sector. The hospice collaborated with the college to develop an accredited Foundation degree module worth 10 credits targeted at healthcare assistants with a level 3 qualification. Knowledge and skills development and promotion of working in the care sector were key aims.
Method Interviews and questionnaires were completed by the college with local nursing homes and care agencies to assess optimum delivery methods and fee structure. The module content was developed by the hospice which included blended learning, work shadowing and written assignments. Delivery and assessment of the module was undertaken at the hospice. The local college provided administration and study support and collaborated with the University for accreditation.
Results Six students were recruited and successfully completed the programme instigating changes in practice within their organisation. Evaluations were positive from the students, the college and the University. Staff valued the opportunity to study with the hospice and to experience putting theory into practice, whilst gaining an accredited qualification.
Discussion The strength of the programme was local collaboration with the hospice and college. An unexpected outcome was the recruitment of 2 Registered Nurses who used it as a stepping stone for further study. The low module recruitment numbers were disappointing but reflect issues around funding and study leave for staff working in this sector.
Conclusion This project demonstrated a closer relationship between the hospice and the local health and social care community and promoted the hospice as resource and support for end of life care.
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