Education and Training in Care Homes: A different way of working

Anna-Marie Stevens, PhD, Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care Team, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust/The Royal Brompton NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, explains the background to her longer article published in the current  issue of the European Journal of Palliative Care


Dr Anna-Marie Stevens

It can be somewhat challenging going into an environment to teach when you are not part of the core team. Understanding the needs of the staff is pivotal in ensuring we teach them the things they need to know to be able to deliver the best end-of-life care possible.

A few years ago in 2013, we had an exciting opportunity to change the way we delivered education and training to staff working in care homes. The work was undertaken in collaboration between the hospital and community. We did some work as a team gathering preliminary data over a three-month period. The real work started in the beginning of 2013 in all 33 nursing homes in two London boroughs.

Based on the needs of the staff, we rolled out five core teaching sessions set at foundation level to allow all staff grades to attend. Some staff were initially hesitant about our visits and the proposed programme, but over a period of time, and working closely with the teams and building relationships with people, they began to look forward to, and engage with, our visits.

We feel that one of the main contributions to education and training in this area has been the introduction of the clinical rounds. Working alongside staff to help them recognise the signs of someone dying has been pivotal in harnessing the theory offered by the teaching sessions. Staff responded positively when evaluating the learning points with comments such as:

“Communication – How to talk to residents and family, how to bring the subject up of Advance Care Planning (ACP) and how to listen.”

“Patients do have choices.”

“Awareness of signs of dying.”

We have supported this model in other ways, such as working closely with general practitioners and local commissioners. Care coordination is important for everyone. In the care homes, the introduction of urgent care plans through Coordinate My Care (CMC) has already had an impact in avoiding for some residents, an unnecessary and unwanted (by the resident) transfer to a local Accident and Emergency department.

Education and training in the care homes never come to an end and we have seen how helpful both the teaching and clinical rounds can be. We are excited about extending what we have already learnt to more residential homes and to homes for people with learning disabilities.


coverRead the full article in the European Journal of Palliative Care
This post relates to a longer article, ‘Enhancing end-of-life care in nursing homes: an innovative model of education and training’ by Corinne Campion, Ash Kassaye, Susie Sutherland, Maureen Carruthers, Julia Riley and Anna-Marie Stevens published in the September/October 2016 edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care (vol. 23.5).

If you have a web-based subscription to the journal you’ll be able to download this issue, plus all articles in the journal archive. You can also browse the archive and download articles by taking a 10-minute or 30-minute subscription. Members of the EAPC receive discounted subscription rates to the journal – click here to subscribe online.

Read more posts relating to articles published in the European Journal of Palliative Care on the EAPC Blog.


This entry was posted in EAPC-LINKED JOURNALS, EDUCATION & TRAINING, European Journal of Palliative Care and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s