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Palliative care training

Palliative care training

Providing compassionate, bespoke care is at the centre of our palliative care, and we pride ourselves on working with you to choose the right carers for you.

During this often upsetting and unsettling time, there is so much that you and your family are getting to grips with that it’s important you have stable support that you can rely on right from the outset. That’s why we ensure that our carers that provide palliative care have the correct training and understanding of both the physical and emotional care required, as well as being able to support our customers’ loved ones.

The palliative care training process

All of our carers have an understanding of palliative care, but there is a training programme specifically for palliative and end-of-life care that only specific carers will undertake. Working with care managers, we identify carers that may have previous experience of delivering different types of palliative care, have family members or friends that have received palliative care or have an aptitude for providing this type of care. Once selected, they will undertake a theoretical palliative and end-of-life training programme.

Palliative care training for Helping Hands carers is underpinned by the Five Priorities for Care as identified by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Training for our carers begins with a theoretical e-learning programme from our vast library of modules, which covers the following objectives:

  • Understanding the difference between palliative and end-of-life care
  • Identifying when customers may transition from palliative to end-of-life care
  • Know how to respond compassionately and practically to customers and their loved ones
  • Being familiar with advanced care planning for end of life
  • Recognising and identifying the Five Priorities for end-of-life care
  • Care planning and documenting care delivery in accordance with Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidelines

After completing the theory element of their training and reflecting upon what they have learnt and how they will put this into practice, they will then receive specific practical training that’s directly related to the customer they are due to care for from one of our regional clinical leads.

This may include:

  • PEG feeding
  • Tracheostomy care
  • Stoma and catheter management
  • Cough assist

Once they have completed both their theoretical and practical training and they have been signed off by their manager and a clinical nurse, they will then be ready to provide the right level of person-centred, palliative care for their customer. There are also opportunities for refresher courses and additional training from our Clinical Nurse team throughout their time with us, ensuring that our carers’ skills are always kept up to date and in line with current NHS, NICE and CQC guidelines.

Palliative care experts

Here at Helping Hands, we have an array of different experts in palliative care including our clinical nurses. Amongst our experienced team is Samantha Atkins, Regional Clinical Lead for the central area.

Samantha has over 10 years’ experience as a registered nurse, in both private and NHS care settings. Before working for Helping Hands, she was the clinical lead in a nursing home where she was responsible for a team of nurses and carers and residents that were receiving palliative care. As well as ensuring all residents received person-centred care that involved both them and their families, Samantha was involved in training her staff and ensuring they had the relevant skills and understanding to support those living with conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s and heart failure.

Since joining Helping Hands, Samantha has utilised her previous experience to ensure our carers have the correct knowledge and training required to care for our customers, including those receiving palliative care.

Read Samantha’s full profile here.

Industry-accredited training

As industry leaders in home care, it is imperative that we ensure that our carers are trained to the very highest standards, enabling them to have the correct skills and knowledge when they’re caring for customers in their homes. And as home care’s only Centre of Excellence, we are certainly able to achieve these high standards on a consistent basis.

All of our carers, regardless of their previous experience, are required to undergo a thorough assessment and selection process when they first join us. Delivered by our in-house instructors, their modules equip them for caring out in the field, including the skills they will need for palliative care. Modules include:

  • Manual handling – using roll sheets, hoists and mobility aids
  • Medication – using MAR sheets and administering certain types of medication
  • Personal care – washing someone in bed, toileting needs and washing aids
  • Dementia – understanding the different types and specific dementia care
  • Equality and diversity – awareness of a customer’s wishes and individual needs

Our carers also complete regular refresher training to ensure they are carrying out the latest and safest care practices. In addition to this, we offer enhanced training sessions from our in-house experts. For example, our dementia specialist Jayne Vale holds numerous dementia training sessions to our staff and carers, including supporting those with dementia who are also receiving palliative care.

Page reviewed by Samantha Atkins, Regional Clinical Lead on March 5, 2020

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