Background Advance care planning (ACP) is a central part of UK and international end of life care policies. Yet studies have shown barriers exist with staff reporting concerns about undertaking advance care planning conversations.
A one day advance care planning course was developed for frontline health and care staff and an advance care planning ‘train the trainer’ course was developed to train facilitators who subsequently delivered it. We report an independent evaluation of this training.
Aim To explore frontline staff views of the impact of a one-day Advance Care Planning course on their confidence and knowledge of advance care planning.
Methods All frontline staff in the first cohort (August 2017–June 2018) were invited to complete a confidential 5-item survey online or in hard copy after the end of their training. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative responses to the free text question, on what one thing from the course would be taken back to practice, were analysed using content analysis.
Results 248 staff responded. The quantitative data indicated 94% of respondents agreed their knowledge of advance care planning had increased, 95% agreed that they were more confident about undertaking advance care planning in their role. Over 95% responded positively about the course structure and how it was easy to follow. Four themes were identified in the open text responses including; the importance of ACP, confident communication, recording and documenting advance care planning and being an ACP advocate. The most frequently identified theme was confident communication.
Conclusions Staff who undertake training in advance care planning are more confident incorporating ACP into their everyday practice. The key aspect frontline staff perceive as important to their role is confidence in communicating with patients and families.
Funded by Health Education England via the Cheshire and Merseyside Palliative & End of Life Care Clinical Network & Greater Manchester & Cheshire Strategic Clinical Network.
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