Posted: 17 May 2017
Lesley Grainger is the End of Life Care Practice Manager for Redbridge Council. Here she shares how Skills for Care’s resources have helped her to develop her role.
This role has a strategic side and is about developing practitioners and services, and implementing action plans; so it was a whole new world for me coming from a hospital social work team.
I had to find out what guidance there was out there. It can take some time to get your head around that. The Common Core Principles were really useful as it’s given me a base to start from.
I found looking at the Common Core Principles and ‘Developing End of Life Care Practice’ plus the practice examples from other services were very helpful to me as I thought ‘how can I replicate that in Redbridge?’
I found the way the principles were broken down into different levels really helpful in identifying levels that social care workers should be practicing at. I could also use the competences and the breakdown of the principles to determine the messages to get across.
When I came into this role I had no background in training which I have needed to develop. Having that sort of resource gives you the confidence that you are on the right line. When people ask for specific things – maybe a provider wanting something specific or talking to community and staff groups – I can use the Skills for Care resources to help me.
The ‘Working together to improve end of life care’ resources were really good for me as I started in 2014 when integration was becoming more and more important. I was able to use them that year at our annual workshop, bringing together professionals who work locally in end of life care and local services. One of the themes of our workshop was integration and with help from our Skills for Care locality manager Ali Rusbridge, we included the resources in the packs so they could be used by participants after the event.
I often refer to the relevant end of life care e-learning modules and take notes of the content so I can use that in my own way. They certainly have been helpful to me as they are divided into the topic areas, making very good practice guides which are short and to the point. I find I can take relevant parts and use them, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
We have events in Redbridge every year bringing together local domiciliary agencies and care home providers. This year our event featured end of life and I found the ‘Real Stories, Real Insight’ video about the Wakefield workers just right to put the message across I wished to. It went down really well with the audience of provider services managers, as it’s a punchy video which is engaging and interesting. It helped to relay my message that their services are essential to enable more people in Redbridge to die at home.
I also used the video for a session with around 30 domiciliary agency workers and the video went down very well with them too. I think it makes workers feel valued as it shows how complex their job can be when they are supporting people at the end of life. People were coming back to me with anecdotes around the scenarios they had been in, and how they dealt with it, showing that they had related with the situations in the video.
Without these resources it would have taken me far longer to build up a suite of learning tools and having the link with Ali locally has been very helpful in developing my role.
For more information and to access Skills for Care’s end of life care resources visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/eolc. You can find the contact details for your locality manager on our in your area webpages.