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P-14 Exploration of support workers’ and volunteers’ initiation of quality of life conversations
  1. Sharan Watson1 and
  2. Alison Hembrow2
  1. 1University of Derby, Derby, UK
  2. 2Treetops Hospice Care, Derby, UK


Background Through being a pilot site for NHS England exploring Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) in end of life care, Treetops Hospice Care became aware that there needed to be more focus on conversations around what was important to patients. There appeared to be barriers around developing these conversations, possible reasons were lack of healthcare professionals’ time and clarity as to whose role it was. Resulting from this highlighted need, Treetops Hospice Care and the University of Derby are undertaking a research project to explore the outcomes of developing support workers and volunteers in initiating conversations around quality of life. Policy drivers have acknowledged that there is a much greater need and demand for person-centred care than professionals in health and social care can meet (Health Education England, Skills for Health & Skills for Care, 2017). This follows the principles of a ‘public health’ approach to end of life care, and that a ‘de-professionalisation’ of supportive care, involving volunteers and support staff engaging in these conversations, could result in being able to include more individuals (Abel & Kellehear, 2016).

Aims Exploring participants’ involvement and perceptions of patient-centred conversations to improve end of life care experiences.

Methods/conclusion Qualitative interviewing will be undertaken before and after a new educational training approach is delivered, along with a pre and post Likert evaluation tool capturing self-perceived confidence and competence. The new approach will focus around the mnemonic L.I.S.T.E.N (developed by Treetops Hospice Care) supporting these conversations around preferences and wishes, within a person-centred approach.

We anticipate that with the appropriate support and training, unregistered healthcare professionals/volunteers feel more enabled in having these conversations, empowering them to offer more timely conversation opportunities with palliative care patients. Resulting outcomes will inform future training.

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