Professional education at St Clare Hospice

Categories: Education.

A life-threatening illness affects the body, mind, spirit, social well-being, the family of the patient and their carers. Hospice education for health and social care professionals strives to improve skills, knowledge and attitudes in all these areas.

Like many things in 2020, St Clare’s varied programme of professional education was halted with the onset of the coronavirus. However, the Hospice’s Medical Director, Dr Syed Qamar Abbas, knew that it was crucial to ensure that local health and social care partners had access to experienced palliative care specialists and were able to improve their skills, knowledge and understanding of end of life care.

In October 2020, St Clare ran its first End of Life Care Webinar, via zoom, and the webinars have been running once a month since October, with hundreds of registered nurses, GPs, nursing assistants and care home managers attending the training.

“It was clear to see from the outset that there was a need for this kind of training,” commented Dr Abbas. “This got me thinking about how we could carry on delivering education around various End of Life topics. We wanted the webinar series to be an overview of several of the main areas pertinent to caring for End of Life patients, but we could see that there was appetite for more in-depth knowledge around key areas.”

The lunchtime lecture series Masterclass in Palliative Care, launched in January 2021, offers professionals working in the health and social care a chance to learn from experienced practitioners about a range of topics relating to end of life care – examples include caring for patients with learning disabilities or dementia, the concept of total pain and an update on opioids.

These twice-monthly lunchtime seminars take place 1-2pm, on the second Tuesday and last Friday of every month. They are free to attend and are also being delivered via zoom.

Masterclasses in palliative care: lunchtime learning for professionals

New for 2021 is a series of twice-monthly lunchtime lectures, covering a range of subjects relating to palliative care. These free lunchtime lectures are run on the second Tuesday and last Friday of every month (currently scheduled until June 2021), at 1pm-2pm, via Zoom.

These masterclass sessions present an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from experienced practitioners in palliative and end of life care.  The talks are being delivered by a range of experts, from St Clare Hospice and its partner organisations.

Friday 26th March  Delirium and terminal agitation in palliative care  
Tuesday 13th April Use of OACC in palliative care 
 Friday 30th April  Update on Opioids: Renal failure and Opioid induced constipation
Tuesday 11th May Steroids in palliative care  
Friday 28th May Team well-being 
 Tuesday 8th June Use of SPIKES in difficult communication scenarios 
Friday 25th June  Palliative care for Learning disabilities patients 

Please book your place via Eventbrite, using the hyperlinks above. If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact:

Specialist palliative care study days

We regularly run study days for clinical colleagues on topics of advanced knowledge. Previously, we have run specialist study days on a variety of subjects including:

  • Motor Neurone disease
  • Lung cancer and Mesothelioma
  • General Oncology
  • Faith at the end of life

We will advertise the next Study Day on our Education and Training event pages.

Training for trainees and/or recently qualified healthcare professionals

We have regular trainees who are recently qualified or are going through early career training who broaden their knowledge and experience by doing a placement at the Hospice, these include:

  • Foundation year doctors
  • General Practice Trainee doctors
  • Specialist Registrar doctors (on their way to become Consultants in Palliative Medicine)
  • Newly qualified nurses (who receive mentorship and competency development programme during their job)
  • Newly qualified Allied healthcare professionals (Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Social workers)
Short-term and day placement for healthcare professionals and clinical students

We also offer short term or single day placements to healthcare professionals who want to gain insight into the work that hospice does.

For a short term placement, the professional/student will be placed with a key member of staff or mentor. That mentor will help the professional/student to achieve their placement aims and learning objectives.

For a single day placement, professionals will get insight into hospice work by shadowing the team in our Inpatient Unit, seeing Palliative care in practice.

Professionals/students wishing to undertake a placement at St Clare Hospice should contact: Dr Qamar Abbas via

University teaching and student placements

We have strong links with universities, nursing and medical training programmes and offer placements to doctors and student nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

We are a University of Cambridge Teaching Hospice, and we receive medical students from the University as part of their training. We also receive Physician Associate and Nursing students from Anglia Ruskin University.

Our Medical Director, Dr Qamar Abbas, is a Senior Clinical Tutor at the University of Cambridge and an Associate Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University; as part of these roles, Dr Abbas contributes to these universities’ teaching seminars and workshops.

Research and audit

We are continually involved in local and national audits to evaluate our work and learn from our practice. We also get involved regularly in research projects and recruit patients for multi-centre and multi-national research. More information on this can be found in our Quality accounts.

View our upcoming Education and Training events

We host a number of Education and Training events throughout West Essex and the borders of East Hertfordshire over the year. If you are a local healthcare professional with an interest in palliative care, please view our list of upcoming study days, workshops and conferences on our Education and Training section of our Events page.


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