Introduction Advance Care Planning (ACP) in non-malignant disease is recognised as helping to improve care and outcomes for patients at end of life. These discussions can be challenging for both patients and healthcare professionals. Education in ACP locally in Shropshire was needed, but how to deliver this and share good practice was the object of this course.
Methods A two day conference was designed and delivered in May 2017 in Shropshire. Over 60 delegates attended both days. Day one was predominantly didactic lecture based in design covering the Law and Mental Capacity Act, relative’s perspectives (a pre-recorded video) and specific case presentations. Day two used multi-professional small group discussions in five disease specific workshops including heart failure and renal failure. The results of discussions were used to inform future policy and practice.
Results Both days were oversubscribed and positively evaluated. Evaluations described an increase in confidence in approaching ACP discussions and the value of collaborative working and sharing of information. Overall the workshop delivery was particularly beneficial. For example, in the heart failure group it allowed recognition of areas of strength and development. It highlighted the need to identify projects that are going to: a) Increase the knowledge of both sets of Clinical Nurse Specialists (heart failure and palliative) b) Identify patients so that their location and what is happening is known to various teams
The overall aim to encourage hospice and heart failure professions to work collaboratively in symptomatic management of patients with heart failure.
Conclusion As a result of this conference streams of education in renal and heart failure are planned. Closer working relationships have been formed including a renal palliative MDT and heart failure MDT. The conference is to be repeated in 2018 using a similar program.
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