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.
This is a story about Josh Cawley (pictured above) who was 22 when he finally died from the catastrophic injuries his birth parents inflicted on him. These resulted in his inability to speak or to move from his wheelchair. He was adopted by Lynn Cawley whose devotion to Josh ensured that he lived his short life as positively and 'normally' as possible.
Lynn couldn't just be his loving mum though - she was expected to be his palliative care consultant, his nurse, his campaigner for compensation and she had to fight the ongoing battles with the system.
Developed by Skills for Care, Royal College of Nursing and Hospice UK, these two resources connect personal real life story and practice. They’re simple and straightforward and aligned to existing national good practice and resources. Here are some tips for using these resources:
Standards and frameworks
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 above 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.
- is for everyone working in adult social care and health, as well as members of the public – including those accessing end of life care.
- 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.
Find training in end of life care
Our Endorsement Framework finds and badges learning providers who can show high quality learning and development to the social care sector. You can search for our endorsed providers in our online directory.
Our Recommendations for CQC Providers Guide and our guide to ongoing learning and development in adult social care provides information on who should deliver training, how training can be delivered and how competence can be signed off.
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
Resources for domiciliary care staff
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.
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.
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.
How to access
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).
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 online 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.
Technology and end of life care
iGrow have worked with St Luke's Hospice to develop assistive technology to help people within the service. Watch this film here about the impact it's had.