ICPCN introduces new e-learning course on perinatal palliative care

Categories: Education.

In response to the enormous need and the growing interest in neonatal and perinatal palliative care, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) is delighted to announce the addition of an e-learning course on Perinatal Palliative Care to its eight existing courses. 

Perinatal palliative care is the holistic, multi-disciplinary care for infants, women and families following antenatal or postnatal diagnosis of life-limiting conditions, providing integrated ongoing support through pregnancy, delivery, postnatal and where appropriate, continuing bereavement care. 

The course is designed to enhance knowledge of and confidence in palliative care for health professionals and support workers who are involved in the delivery of care to infants and their families. It is hoped that after completion of the course, professionals will have a better understanding of what palliative care means at this time and help to support the woman and her partner through decision making and making appropriate choices for their infant and the greater family whenever this may be appropriate such as during the antenatal period at the time of diagnosis, at the time of delivery or in the period after birth.

This course has been designed to:

  • enhance knowledge, and confidence in, palliative care for health professionals working with foetuses, neonates and infants;
  • raise awareness of conditions requiring perinatal palliative care and making the appropriate referral to other services;
  • improve the quality of care and gain information on how the neonate should be cared for once a decision has been made to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment;
  • consider conflict in relation to end-of-life decisions for the foetus, neonate or infant and how this can be resolved in partnership between professionals and parents;
  • recognise what support staff need to help them deliver palliative care;
  • increase awareness of the support groups and bereavement services available to families.

Modules within the course include:

  • About Palliative Care 
  • The delivery of perinatal palliative care 
  • Creating memories 
  • Case studies 
  • Resolving conflicts about end of life decisions 
  • Organ donation 
  • Perinatal Palliative Care Assignment

The course has been designed by Alex Mancini, a senior neonatal nurse with over 20 years experience and the Pan London Lead Nurse for Neonatal Palliative Care. Prior to this, Alex was the Matron and Lead Nurse for Neonatal Complex, Palliative & Bereavement Care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital providing practical and emotional support for families and staff, and has been instrumental in developing local and national guidelines, including robust complex and palliative care pathways.

Asked to comment on the new ICPCN e-learning course, Alex says: “The Perinatal Palliative Care module is suitable for any healthcare professional who works with families, antenatally, at the time of birth and during the neonatal period. The key principles and philosophy of care may be relevant for any age of the child. This module is designed to enhance awareness, knowledge and confidence in palliative care for all healthcare and allied health professionals who are involved in the care of babies and their families.”

All ICPCN e-learning courses are endorsed by the University of South Wales and can be accessed via www.elearnicpcn.org

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