National care of the dying audit

5 June 2014

Mandatory communication skills training is the second recommendation in the 'National care of the dying audit for hospitals England' published last month by the Royal College of Physicians and the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool.

The audit involved 131 Trust (90% of those eligible to participate) and investigated the training that different staff groups received in relation to support dying patients and their relatives and carers.

The report indicated that between 48% and 69% of in-house training programmes on care of the dying between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013 includes communication skills training, and that courses for allied health professionals were least likely to cover communication skills.

The report also pointed out that non-qualified staff, who are likely to directly care for dying patients at the bedside also needed appropriate training.

The SAGE & THYME Foundation Level workshop is suitable for providing training to all types and levels of staff, including non-qualified nursing staff in general communication skills and teaches how to provide person-focussed support for someone (patient/relative) who is worried or has concerns.

The SAGE & THYME for Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care workshop is appropriate for more senior staff who discuss advance care planning with patients and their relatives/carers.