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End of life care case study

Improving end-of-life care has been the focus of one innovation project

A new training programme for nurses and healthcare support workers is aiming to help improve the quality of end-of-life care for people in Torbay and southern Devon.

The scheme is being run by Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust with the support of South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and funded with a £48,000 innovation grant from Health Education South West.

Specialist training for up to 22 nurses and healthcare support workers from community teams, community hospitals and Torbay Hospital will provide them with the skills and knowledge to help them improve end-of-life care. The training is due to start in October.

Each nurse will gain a City and Guilds accredited qualification that will enable them to become champions in their area and train up to a further 400 healthcare professionals in best practice in this field.

The training will cover all aspects of end-of-life care and will concentrate on the five key priorities – recognise, communicate, involve, support, plan and do. The five priorities for care of the dying person are from the “One Chance to Get it Right” document published in 2014, whose recommendation is that these priorities are the duty and responsibility of all health and care staff.

The project is in response to national concerns about the quality of care at end of life and to an increasing aging population with more than one condition and complex needs, particularly in the south west region.

Carol Gray, from Torbay and Southern Devon Care and Health NHS Trust, who is leading the project , said: “Our aim with this project is to improve the standards of care for people and their families being cared for in both the hospital and in the community setting.

“There is quite a lot of trepidation about end of life care and nurses and healthcare professionals can understandably feel anxious about it. The course aims to give staff more confidence to deliver this type of care and for them to recognise that they can really make a difference to patients and families on their end of life journey.”

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