Background Following from a successful scoping session in June 2017 in which mental health and palliative care professionals came together to look at how we can best support these patients with dual needs, three common themes were highlighted: i) 100% wanted education in this area ii) Stigma found both in mental health and palliative care iii) Not understanding services provided by the other discipline.
Such a need for education has previously been emphasised (Addington-Hall, 2000). There is also a call for increased collaboration in this area (Care Quality Commission, 2016).
Aim A study day was created with the purpose to bring both disciplines together to learn from each other.
Method A proposal was brought to our hospice consortium covering five hospices. Funding was sought and granted. Four bespoke study days were created with the aim of delivering these across the county. Support agreed from the mental health team to educate on the day. Fifteen mental health professionals and 15 palliative care professionals attended the study day. The day was planned to create break-out sessions for each discipline to learn the theory behind practice of the other discipline. Two separate sessions brought the groups together to learn from each other. A pharmacist gave a separate session on medication use for patients with dual needs.
Conclusion We are working towards professionals improving collaboration and ensuring we are prepared to care for all patients. Such education helps reduce the fear and stigma created when caring for such patients (Ellison, 2008). One study day has been delivered with more in October and November. This day has been well evaluated and the consensus on the day was that having both disciplines together created valuable learning and increased awareness of the importance of collaboration when supporting patients.
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