EXPERTS in palliative care are to share their knowledge to help provide the best for terminally ill residents and their families.
As part of an annual funding agreement with Darlington NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, specialist staff at St Teresa’s Hospice have undertaken a pilot project to deliver a programme of education on basic end of life care to care home staff in the town.
St Teresa’s head of workforce development Diane Farrell said: We are very aware that care homes always try their best to look after patients but sometimes they can find themselves restricted in accessing education for staff due to limited training budgets.
“At St Teresa’s we have a fantastic multi-disciplinary team of experts who got their heads together and came up with a two-year rolling education programme to cover five areas of end of life care.
“We knew that delivering the training would be a massive task so we devised a programme of sessions and contacted all 30 care homes in the town to ask for volunteers to take part in the programme.”
The pilot, run initially in Willow Green and Eden Cottage care homes, covered the palliative care topics around end of life care, what is a good death, understanding outcomes and advance care planning.
It also considered grief and loss and how to support staff, dignity and respect, symptom management at end of life and communication skills.
“The outcome of both pilots proved extremely successful and we received some very positive evaluation forms and feedback from staff,” said Diane.
“One topic that was continually raised at each of the pilot homes was staff’s interest in the hospice so we also spent a bit of time at the end of each session talking about the work that we do here at St Teresa’s.
“Going forward we are now looking to roll out the programme to all the remaining 28 homes and are also looking at the possibility of inviting staff to St Teresa’s to undertake training and get a first had insight of our work.”