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P-271 Sustaining our workforce – placing staff support at the heart of good practice
  1. Gill Thomas1,
  2. Kath Blake2 and
  3. Tricia Wass3
  1. 1Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, UK
  2. 2St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds, UK
  3. 3Tricia Wass Associates, Hove, UK


Background With the UK demographic profile changing, people are living longer and more complex lives with progressive illness (Help the Hospices, 2012). This increases demand on palliative care professionals who have to respond to the needs of the population their serve. If recent mortality trends continue, Healthcare systems will need to adapt to the age-related growth in deaths of palliative care across health and social care disciplines (Etkind, Bone, Gomes et al., 2017). But how will hospices care for their staff knowing that burnout and compassion fatigue are the cost of caring in a healthcare setting (Brotheridge & Grandey, 2002)?

Providing formal mechanisms for support will be essential to retain and sustain healthcare professionals and cultivate a climate of resilience. Clinical supervision is a working alliance between supervisor and supervisee with the aim of providing a safe and confidential environment for staff to reflect on and discuss their work and their personal and professional responses to their work. Seeking ways to embed an affordable, sustainable model of clinical supervision would benefit both hospices and their staff.

Aim 1) Explore different models of clinical supervision provided in hospices in the UK to understand current practice; 2) Develop a UK-wide debate about the application and impact of clinical supervision and its role in sustaining and retaining the palliative care workforce.

Method 1) UK-wide consultation with representation of hospices in different regions using video conferencing to understand the different models of clinical supervision; 2) Collate and disseminate findings; 3) Development of an adaptive model of supervision to use in any hospice setting.

Results We anticipate that this initiative will give an understanding of barriers and enablers to clinical supervision in hospices and develop a model of supervision that is easy to use, applicable in different settings, affordable and sustainable. In doing so, support palliative care professionals in a changing and increasingly challenging landscape.

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