Background/Aims The End of Life Care Strategy for England has highlighted the delivery of high-quality end of life care in hospitals as an area of priority (Department of Health, 2008). The National Survey of Bereaved People (ONS, 2016) found, however, that relatives of people who died in hospital rated overall quality of care significantly worse than any other place of death. Barriers to the provision of good end of life care have shown to include a lack of education and poor attitudes from nurses and clinicians (Gardiner, Cobb, Gott & Ingleton, 2011).
We set up an End of Life Champions programme in 2017 aimed at empowering nursing staff to recognise end of life patients in a timely manner, and to feel confident in providing good, holistic end of life care to patients and their families in the ward setting.
Methods A two-day course was provided which covered a variety of areas surrounding end of life care. Delivery methods consisted of Powerpoint slides, group-work, and scenarios. The palliative care team then went on to assist the champions to take action in improving end of life care in their clinical areas.
Results Each champion completed a pre- and post-study day evaluation based on their confidence levels. Results showed a significant improvement in each session topic ranging from 13% to 36%. Comments from some of the champions stated they found the course had given them a whole new perspective on how to approach end of life care, and also that they now felt empowered to challenge poor practice.
Conclusions Educating and supporting nurses in the acute hospital setting has been found to lead to increased levels of confidence and to actively improve care in their clinical areas. This thus enables translation of UK policy into practice. The end of life champions’ work is being extended across all hospital sites and is ongoing.