End of life care

A  lady holding hands with someone needing support

Supporting someone approaching the end of their life can be the most challenging work any health and social care worker faces, but it can also be the most rewarding.

We have resources to support those working in adult social care to develop their skills and knowledge in this area. You can read about the support we can offer here.

You can read about our offer for hospices here.

Visit Learn from Others to see what others are doing in this specialised area. It’s full of best practice stories and resources.

Setting standards

Our Common core principles and competences for social care and health workers working with adults at the end of life identifies the additional knowledge, competences and values needed when supporting someone who is dying. It's for non-specialist workers and their managers, and was developed in partnership with Skills for Health.

The End of Life Core Skills Education and Training Framework expands on the Common core principles and competences resource outlining the knowledge and skills needed to support people at the end of life in more detail.  It considers knowledge and skills that are core to providing good care, and that are transferable across settings and level of caring responsibilities.  It’s for everyone working in adult social care and health, as well as members of the public – including those accessing end of life care. It aims to promote community development and asset-based approaches to education and training, considering the strengths, abilities and potential of communities in supporting end of life care.

Working together

It's essential that people in different job roles work together to provide excellent end of life care.

Working together: Improving end of life care through better integration is a training pack to help increase awareness and understanding of how everyone involved can work together to improve end of life care.

It includes a film and accompanying booklet to help people to understand all of the different job roles that may be involved in someone's end of life care. 

'Real stories, real insight' training resources are for domiciliary care staff and can be used for training or as part of a team discussion:

The training resource was developed in partnership with Bridgesfm for employers and/or managers of domiciliary care workers.

Our end of life care qualifications are for all staff with an interest in end of life care. They recognise end of life situations and how to manage them more effectively. 

The qualifications support the National End of Life Strategy and Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: a national framework for local action 2015-2020. They also build on the common core principles (see above). The qualifications available are:

  • Level 2 and 3 awards in 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

Find out which is the most relevant for you by visiting our Skill Selector. Download more information on our national end of life care qualifications.

We don’t directly deliver training but our guide can help you consider what you need to cover with care workers to effectively induct them. You can search our Endorsement Framework directory to find recommended providers deliver relevant courses.

The Six Steps Programme

Is a national programme of learning for care homes to develop awareness and knowledge of end of life care. Developed with St. Luke's Hospice, Plymouth, the Six Steps Programme encourages the progression of learners from the programme onto qualifications.   

Use the mapping tool to show how the Six Steps Programme maps to the core units in end of life care qualifications. It shows you how to produce evidence that can count towards core units in end of life care qualifications.

Our Recommendations for CQC Providers Guide and our guide to On-going learning and development in adult social care provide information on who should deliver training, how training can be delivered and how competence can be signed off.

Working together: Improving end of life care through better integration is a training pack to help increase awareness and understanding of how everyone involved can work together to improve end of life care. It includes a film and accompanying booklet to help people to understand all of the different job roles that may be involved in someone's end of life care.

'Real stories, real insight' training resources are for domiciliary care staff and can be used for training or as part of a team discussion:

The training resource was developed in partnership with Bridgesfm for employers and/or managers of domiciliary care workers.

The Six Steps Programme is a national programme of learning for care homes to develop awareness and knowledge of end of life care. Developed with St. Luke's Hospice, Plymouth, the Six Steps Programme encourages the progression of learners from the programme onto qualifications.

Use the mapping tool to show how the Six Steps Programme maps to the core units in end of life care qualifications. It shows you how to produce evidence that can count towards core units in end of life care qualifications.

e-End of Life Care for All (e-ELCA) offers around 150 easy to use and interactive e-learning sessions on end of life care. They cover all aspects including assessment, advance care planning, symptom management and communication skills.

Accessing the e-learning

Employers registered with the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) can now access e-ELCA using a registration code, or you can Self-register.

To register with the NMDS-SC visit www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk.

Updates - see what's new in e-ELCA

The e-learning modules

The e-ELCA modules map to the end of life qualifications units. There are 14 units which form the core of the qualifications and the e-ELCA modules support learning for each unit as specified in the documents below.

Where to start

The Training needs analysis session will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and direct you to which e-ELCA sessions will support your development, depending on your career path. There are additional modules for managers. 

Supporting care homes in raising standards: A guide to delivering quality standards across Yorkshire and Humber care homes was developed in consultation with care homes, end of life care specialists and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. It follows the six steps of the end of life care pathway. This pioneering programme involving hundreds of workers across the Yorkshire and Humber region has boosted the skills and knowledge around end of life care. Read the full evaluation report of the programme and the supporting case studies.

Learn from Others is a free resource that lets you to find out about good practice in other organisations and learn from some their challenges. It is valuable in helping make the best use of often limited resources. If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to improve the quality of care you provide take a look at Learn from Others and select 'end of life care' under areas of interest.

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