Development of an online palliative care medicines training series for health and social care staff

Emma Corcoran, Marion Bennie, Gazala Akram, Alison MacRobbie, Catherine McCusker, Val Findlay, Gill Harrington, Joyce Dunlop, Anne Watson

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Aim or goal of work: Frontline support staff working in General Practice (GP) (i.e. receptionists), Community Pharmacies (CP) and Care Homes are likely to face issues concerning palliative care medicines amongst their patient group. Previous service evaluations by the authors found a need for sustainable and accessible palliative care training for these staff. A national online training resource on palliative medicines for health and social care staff was subsequently developed and is currently being evaluated. Design, methods & approach taken: Various education and training materials for these staff groups were consolidated and re-developed into one interactive course, comprised of Core sessions for all staff (e.g. Introduction to Palliative Care) and discipline specific sessions i.e. Pharmacy (e.g. Dispensing Opioids) and Care Home (e.g. Palliative Medicines & Risk of Falls) staff. User feedback was obtained via a questionnaire measuring satisfaction, usefulness and impact. Results: All 50 participants (11 staff from GP Practices, Community Pharmacies (n=9) and Care Homes (n=30)) agreed that the training was useful and with the correct degree of difficulty. Participants liked the delivery format and felt the training was “informative” and “easy to access”. Staff also reported that managers were supportive of them undertaking the training. The training provided a good introduction and, for some, a refresher to palliative care. Some participants provided real-life examples of how the training had been beneficial to (and applied by) them in the workplace. Conclusions and lessons learned: This new training resource provides education in an engaging, accessible format to frontline health and social care multi-disciplinary teams. It will be available nationally from November 2016 to support the provision of palliative care by frontline staff at the point of need.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2017
EventWorld Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 18 May 201720 May 2017


ConferenceWorld Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care
Internet address


  • palliative care
  • education
  • training
  • Support staff
  • medicines
  • e-learning methods


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