Top tips and resources to support your workforce and learning development

Categories: Care, Education, and Featured.

Anita Hayes, the new Head of Learning and Workforce at Hospice UK, rounds up seven top tips to help support workforce learning in hospices.

By 2040 it is estimated that there will be a 42 per cent increase in the need for palliative care which represents an additional 160,000 people. With this rise in the number of people dying, particularly the over 85s who are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions and co-morbidities, the demand for end of life care will increase significantly. Additionally the nature of the demand for care will become increasingly more complex with disability before death being a major problem for many.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) expects the UK population to increase overall by 17.5 per cent by 2035, by which time over 65s will represent a quarter of the population. The oldest group of old people, the over 85s, will reach 3.5 million and will represent almost half of all deaths. By 2050, one in three people will die with dementia.

As people live longer, with life-limiting and chronic conditions, hospices may need to manage the provision of care over a longer period of time in partnership and collaboration with other sector partners, family carers and volunteers. They may be engaging with patients and families in a more sporadic way and offer increased levels of rehabilitation, providing a core focus on living well, seeing people earlier and intermittently at different stages throughout their journey and then supporting them to die.

The place of death is also set to change over time with a potential increase in deaths of up to 40 per cent in care homes.

This all means the most important asset we have to enable high quality palliative and end of life care into the future is our workforce, both our staff and our volunteers.

As staff seek to respond to the ever increasing activity and complexity of care, it is increasingly important for organisations to adopt proactive strategies to enable staff to be resourceful and effective practitioners in such demanding times. The key to this is building a culture of continuous learning, empathy, respect and active involvement along with developing resilient organisations, people and teams.

Hospice UK plays an important role in equipping professionals with the knowledge, skills and expertise needed to deliver care in any setting, support their local communities and to work in partnership with others. We have identified seven top tips and resources that you can access freely to support our efforts in achieving our collective ambitions as set out in the Hospice UK strategy:

1. Always start from the patient perspective

What matters most to patients and families:

2. Understand your local context and population needs

3. Use a systematic approach to workforce planning and engaging with wider system stakeholders – know your system

Workforce toolkits and principles for redesign:

4. Associated toolkits can assist your thinking

NHS Improvement workforce planning toolkit for reference:

Don’t forget to think about how to involve people with experience in the design and delivery of solutions:

5. Focus on building resilient organisations, teams and individuals – change is ever constant

We have created a webinar-based programme offering resources to help leaders in hospices and palliative care teams to build their own resilience and those of their teams:

6. Utilise tried and tested transferable education and learning opportunities, and utilise all available sources of funding to support developing our people

Conferences and leadership programmes to support developing staff:

Access to grants and education bursaries:

Additionally consider how apprenticeship routes can support your workforce

Consider access to e learning for end of life modules and blended learning approaches

7. Develop change capability within your organisation and teams/individuals, and access freely available courses with NHS colleagues to build our collective learning and partnership

Making change happen in practice:

Also see:

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