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  1. Chris Haywood,
  2. Margaret McConaghy,
  3. Anthony Thompson and
  4. Clare Molyneux
  1. Willowbrook Hospice, Prescot, UK


    Background Audit has shown that Integrated Specialist Palliative Care Telephone Advice Lines provide expert support to healthcare professionals caring for patients with palliative and end of life care needs. Governance arrangements including education and support for staff in answering the telephone is variable. A toolkit was devised to support both nursing and medical staff who respond to calls within a Hospice Inpatient Unit.

    Aims Produce a toolkit with a clear framework to facilitate, enhance and improve knowledge, skills and confidence of staff in responding to calls made to a Specialist Palliative Care Telephone Advice Line

    Aid individual clinical decision making recognising individual limitations; providing guidance on when to escalate to Senior Colleagues

    Address individual training needs of staff in a cost effective way

    Methods PowerPoint slides for awareness sessions and training

    Pre and post evaluation documentation

    Combination individual and group training using actual calls

    Written reflection with supervisory follow up

    Focus on timely, constructive, positive feedback and sharing good practice

    Repeated at 6 months

    Results Improvements of quality aspect of calls by use of the toolkit

    Notable improvements of staff knowledge, skills and confidence

    Positive impact on Governance

    Clearer identification of education and training issues that arise when providing this type of service

    The Toolkit Guidance documents

    DVD with actual calls

    Proforma: reflective practice

    Pre & Post evaluation

    Powerpoint presentation

    Useful tips

    Conclusion Toolkit is clearly effective as a quality improvement initiative.

    Awareness heightened; quality of calls matter for patient safety and professionalism

    Strengthened confidence and communication across services

    Easily able to be replicated

    Easily repeated to ensure improvements are maintained

    Could be used as a method of ensuring staff competence as part of Personal Development Plans

    Could be used to support mandatory education and training for those services providing 24/7 Telephone Advice

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