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An exciting collaborative partnership, between Queenscourt Hospice Southport and Edge Hill University, has seen the creation of an original and inspiring programme for front line health care professionals, aiming to equip them to provide the best possible evidence based palliative and end of life care.

This developing Master’s level programme, Integrated Palliative and End of Life Care, is currently undergoing validation, and the Postgraduate Certificate which preceded it, saw its first intake of students in September 2019.

Professor Karen Groves, Medical and Education Director at Queenscourt, said: “Palliative and end of life care is crucial to those who have need of it. We have only one chance to get it right for patients and their families and we know that many staff are very keen to do their very best. Yet many feel they do not have knowledge, confidence or skills to ensure the care they provide is ‘state of the art.’

“This interactive, clinically focused, course covers all the key components of holistic palliative and end of life care, to enable enthusiastic frontline professionals to provide the finest possible care for the patient and their family.”

Professor Barbara Jack, Academic Programme Lead in the Faculty of Health Social Care & Medicine at Edge Hill University, who has supported the current modules, said: “The passion of the students, and hunger to learn how to provide the best care for their patients, was amazing, and by the interactive mode of the course it was clear to see how they were already developing enhanced skills.”

Keen participants have so far come from medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy,  radiotherapy, paramedic practice and nursing in hospitals, hospices and community settings. Staff, already committed to working with patients approaching the end of life, are using scenarios based around a fictional street and its families, to translate theory into practice in a very real way for them, considering the available evidence and how to put it into practice and developing their knowledge, skills and confidence.

Feedback from participants so far is that that they felt excited, enthused, well supported and ‘champing at the bit’ to learn new skills, in the mastery of the subject matter. As one participant put it: “I have done many Master’s modules, but never one quite like this one!”

The MSc, which will include the new ‘End of Life Communication and Spiritual Care’ module, is now completing its final stages of validation to commence in September 2020.

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