Sian Hughes, Meg Williams and Jamie-Lee Cook
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
The aim of this project is to develop a structured training programme, delivered by the Specialist Palliative Care (SPC) Directorate to upskill and empower medical staff across the Health Board to become Palliative Care Medical Champions on their wards.
The programme will provide education and support for the champions which will provide them with the necessary transferable skills to cascade knowledge and skills to ward colleagues, raising awareness of patients’ specific care needs and wishes and implementation of evidenced based care when caring for patients with palliative and end of life care needs.
This project will support a different approach for education, with ongoing support for champions that will provide a sustainable model for change of practice, subsequently supporting improved care and experience for palliative and end of life care patients.
The education programme will be delivered across ABUHB acute hospital sites over a twelve-month period by the SPC team. The sessions will deliver enhanced knowledge of palliative care, recognizing irreversibly deteriorating patients and how to care for someone in their final days/hours of life, enhanced communication skills, common symptoms control management in palliative care, prescribing and syringe driver management and promoting Advance Care Planning, Treatment Escalation Plans, and use of Care Decision Guidance.
Delivery of the champions programme would support workforce challenges by enhancing the skills, knowledge, and confidence of the medical workforce to enable enhanced clinical management of palliative and end of life care patients on the ward, increasing timely and improved care for patients. This would provide a consistent prudent approach, supporting the work of the specialist team. The champions would subsequently cascade their knowledge and skills to staff within their own clinical area, enabling widespread education and supporting a changed culture and collaborative approach for patient care, complimenting the work of the Palliative Care Nurse Champions.