Background The development and facilitation of end of life education arose in response to the specific learning needs identified by local nursing and residential homes. This initiative originated as a result of staff supervision sessions, Care Quality Commission recommendations and a desire to improve the care and support offered to residents and their families.
Aim The overriding purpose in providing this education was to cascade knowledge and best practice from the specialist palliative care community to the homes. This dynamic approach lends itself to improving the quality of person-centred care provision and staff confidence with emphasis on collaboration and a shared focus, to enhance end of life care.
Method The specific learning requirements of the staff regarding end of life care were identified. The curriculum was then developed and delivered focusing entirely on the agenda of the learners. This included some similar themes such as recognition of the dying process, priorities and preferences at the end of life, communication and symptom management issues. The educational sessions were delivered through some elements of didactic presentation, interactive group discussion, role play, simulation and case studies.
Results In total education sessions have been delivered to six homes, with a total of 69 staff participating with the overall satisfaction rate at 100%. As a consequence of the education delivered, the feedback has led to further learning needs being identified.
Conclusion This innovative approach to education delivery has embedded the benefits of cross-organisational working and promoted the development of future training sessions such as syringe driver training, verification of expected death training, communication skills training and advance care planning workshops. There is continued momentum for specialist palliative educational input in such care environments, and it is apparent from the evaluation gathered that there is a real desire for this to continue and grow.
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