Education and research underpins all aspects of the care provided by Rowcroft Hospice. The education team, made up of four specialists and one administrator are dedicated to delivering end of life care training, providing support to both hospice and non-hospice staff.
Lorna Gray is Rowcroft's Education Manager. A nurse by background, she has held senior positions in homes for the physically disabled and the elderly before moving to Rowcroft 17 years ago. Lorna has worked in nearly all the nursing teams including the inpatient, chronic oedema and community teams.
In this blog, Lorna explains how the education team are helping Rowcroft to take care further: "Starting the dedicated education service in 2009 was an exciting challenge. Since then we have gone from strength to strength and now have a small but growing education team.
The education and clinical teams at Rowcroft specialise in end of life care teaching and learning. We offer a variety of opportunities to learn, ranging from placements with Rowcroft staff, through to workshops and more formal education. Subjects vary from symptom management e.g. pain control, syringe pump or chronic oedema management, to communication skills and using recognised best practice tools.
Popular events include the palliative care workshops - two hours of focussed topic learning on issues such as respiratory problems, managing neurological illness, and helping someone plan their future care. We also provide end of life care updates for staff from care homes, the hospital and community nurses.
Another well attended session is designed for administration and GP support staff to help them in their own workplace with any end of life care issues and keep them updated with the many developments occurring in this area. A longer 7 day course for registered staff 'Enhancing Palliative Care Skills' has been running since the services inception and has attracted staff from all settings as it offers placement days within our specialist teams.
Rowcroft's education team are positioned to respond readily whenever a need is identified; for example, the education team recently supported Rowcroft's medical team to run a study day designed for GP's and hospital doctors, with over 40 local GPs attending."
A few facts and figures:
1455 attendances at Rowcroft educational events during 2012-13.
Those numbers include:
616 registered nurses
551 skilled non-registered [healthcare assistants and similar roles]
224 were a mixture of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, volunteers, administration staff, therapists, care home managers and paramedics.