Created by Professor Jane Seymour, Dr Beth Hardy and Dr Glenys Caswell from the University of Nottingham together with the Carers Federation, and jointly funded by UK charities, Marie Curie and Dimbleby Cancer Care, the programme aims to give participants insight into the practical and emotional needs of carers.
The core training is designed to be delivered over one day. It includes discussion guides, group exercises and film clips of carers talking about their experiences.
The training can be adapted for international use to train carers in many different countries. However, the researchers who developed it remind potential trainers to consider the fact that it was developed in a UK setting, and therefore to adapt it to suit their local context.
Marie Curie has already been using the new programme to train its support line advisers, and volunteers for its helper service. Several other health and social care organisations have also been involved in piloting the training.
Bill Noble, Marie Curie’s medical director, said that currently there is little help available to many carers: “We need to recognise the contribution carers make and ensure that they are adequately supported in their role. This programme will enable those that support carers to understand their needs and provide more effective advice and mentorship.”
Robin Pritchard, director at Dimbleby Cancer Care, added: “The experience of caring for a loved one at the end of their life is likely to be unknown territory for most people and there is therefore undoubtedly a great need for effective mentorship and support.
“A key consideration has been to ensure that the training programme enables those that support carers to provide relevant, jargon free explanations of care concepts and practical demonstrations.”
The new training programme can be accessed online for free on the University of Nottingham website.