End of life care

A person helping another person to stand

Caring for and supporting people approaching the end of their life is considered the most challenging work any health and social care worker faces. It can also be the most rewarding - if they have the right knowledge, skills and attitude to provide the care and support they need.

Traditionally end of life care has been viewed as a specialist area of work. In reality it incorporates all elements of the daily lives of people nearing the end of their lives. A quality experience of social care is now seen as pivotal to those individuals at the end of their lives.

Whilst Skills for Care does not deliver training, we have produced a number of resources to support those working in adult social care to develop their skills and knowledge in this area.

The Common Core Principles and Competences for End of Life Care were developed to ensure workers have the training, education, development and support they need to work with people at the end of their lives.

They provide a basis for all health and social care workers to develop their skills - whatever their level of expertise and involvement in end of life care. It is aimed at:

  • commissioners
  • training providers
  • managers and supervisors 
  • workforce planners
  • individual workers

Skills for Care worked in partnership with the National End of Life Care Programme, the Department of Health and Skills for Health to develop the principles.

Common core competences and principles for health and social care workers working with adults at the end of life

 

Skills for Care has created a guide to workforce development to support social care and health workers to apply the common core principles and competences for end of life care.

Developed in partnership with Skills for Health and the National End of Life Care Programme, the guide aims to ensure that workers involved in supporting someone who is at the end of their life are properly trained to be able to undertake their work effectively and appropriately.

Each section gives an explanation of the area of work and includes important links to further information and resources. There is also a 'practice scenario' to show how the competences are connected and how they can be used to help in developing services and ensuring that workers are appropriately trained and skilled.

Skills for Care has developed end of life care qualifications in conjunction with a wide range of employers to equip workers to not only recognise end of life situations but to manage them more effectively. They are aimed at all learners in health and social care with an interest in end of life care.

The qualifications available are:

  • Level 2 and 3 Awards Awareness of End of Life Care
  • Level 3 Certificate in working in End of Life Care
  • Level 5 Certificate in Leading and Managing Services to Support End of Life and Significant Life Events

For more information and to find out which is the most relevant for you visit our Skill Selector.

The qualifications help adult social care employers support the National End of Life Strategy and also build on the work of common core competences and principles for end of life care.

National end of life care qualifications – a guide for employers and learners

End of life care learning materials have been produced by St. Luke's Hospice, Plymouth under contract to Skills for Care. They cover each end of life core specific units within the end of life care qualifications.

A free e-learning resource about end of life care is available. Find out how to access it by clicking here and then clicking on the e-learning section.

The Six Steps Programme was originally developed as a programme of learning for care homes to develop awareness and knowledge of end of life care. It has been implemented successfully in other settings and is now being adopted throughout the country.

Skills for Care has worked with the original developers and St. Luke's Hospice, Plymouth to explore the links between the end of life care qualifications and the Six Steps Programme to encourage the progression of learners from the programme onto qualifications. 

A tool has been developed to map the Six Steps Programme to the core units in the qualifications. It demonstrates how learning outcomes in the programme can produce evidence that could be used for assessment towards core units in end of life care qualifications.

End of life care qualifications and Six Steps Programme - core unit mapping tool

Personal Assistant Apprenticeships in adult social care video

This short film showcases the work of NHS Hull and NHS Wakefield District with social care partners to consider how domiciliary care workers can be key within a multi-disciplinary team - providing good quality end of life care for people wishing to be at home at the end of their lives.

It was funded by Skills for Care under the National End of Life Care Programme’s ‘Supporting People to Live and Die Well’ initiative (the Social Care Framework).

A project has been taking place across Yorkshire and the Humber over the last year or so which aims to improve end of life care in 800 care homes across the region. Find out more about the project, what is happening at the moment and how you can get involved.

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