Why is education important?

The network’s recommended education programmes help to support clinical and non-clinical staff to be able to have conversations around care planning and people’s preferences and wishes.  This is especially important in palliative and end of life care to allow people and those close to them time to plan for their future care.  This is commonly called advance care planning.  It is also important to note that some people may not want to discuss their future care plans.

Education in the North West is monitored through the Education Strategy Groups. These groups report to the Palliative and End of Life Care Clinical Network’s strategic groups.

The Education Strategy Group is a collaborative group that influences quality by ensuring the workforce has access to appropriate education, which in turn supports the provision of excellent care. The group’s main aim is to provide a consistent approach to education.

What are we doing to support professionals?

A collaborative, known as the North West Coast Learning Collaborative, formed in 2017 by the Education Hubs in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria developed the ‘Mayfly’ Advance Care Planning education programme, which concentrates on supporting communication skills and advance care planning conversations.

‘Mayfly’ has been developed to enhance the skills and confidence of professionals delivering end of life care in all settings around advance care planning and having “difficult conversations” across the North West. The ‘Mayfly’ programme has recently been developed to be delivered in an online format to ensure continued delivery during the pandemic and beyond.

Mayfly training is offered through the education hubs in the North West; links to each of the hubs can be found here.

The North West Coast Learning Collaborative has also developed Standards and Guidelines for the provision of Advanced and Key Communication Skills Training to help assure the quality of advanced and key levels communication skills training delivered across the region.

Advanced Communication Skills Training (ACST)

What is ACST and who is it for?

ACST is for health and social care professionals who are regularly involved in complex, difficult or challenging conversations with patients, families, or colleagues; for example, responding to distress and anger.

Using the Standards and Guidelines for the provision of Advanced and Key Communication Skills the course is evidence based delivered over 2-day by trained Facilitators.  The focus is on identifying complex communication issues, handling anger and distress, exploring the impact on people their families, reflecting on own communication skills and developing these in a safe and supportive environment.

Advanced Communication Skills Training is offered through education hubs across the region.  The education hubs currently offering Advanced Communication Skills Training (ACST) are: