Success of end of life care resource pack
A learning resource aimed at improving end of life care for people living in extra care housing schemes has boosted training and helped develop links with vital health and social care services, an independent evaluation has concluded.
The End of Life Care Learning Resource Pack: Information and Resources for housing, care and support staff in extra care housing was developed by housing provider Housing 21 and the National End of Life Care Programme (NEoLCP) with part-funding from Skills for Care.
Designed specifically with extra care or similar housing in mind, the resource is a practical tool. It provides guidance and information on a range of topics for anyone caring for someone with a life-limiting condition and has proved useful in many other care settings including hospital wards and residential homes.
Over 6000 copies of the pack have been distributed or downloaded since it was launched in 2009. Housing 21 have used the pack as the basis of training for front-line care staff in extra care housing and as a platform for the introduction of advance care planning so that all residents who choose to do so are able to record their wishes and preferences, should their needs change in the future.
The learning resources were shown to have impacted on practice in extra care in a number of positive ways including: establishing new contacts or links with other service providers to improve end of life care; initiating discussions with extra care residents and their families about their preferences for end of life care; and introducing specific end of life care training for frontline staff.
Researchers from the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York found that the managers of schemes using the pack, which includes a DVD, reported improved interaction with residents and families around end of life care.
Amongst managers who had used the resource with their staff, the findings were positive enough to suggest it could be a boon for wider forms of specialist housing, notably sheltered housing, and domiciliary care agencies.
But the evaluation suggests that not nearly enough of such schemes know the resource is available and that even those that do might not be making the best use of it. Training and resource tools clearly only work if they reach the right people – in this case, usually those at the frontline and those with extensive contact with residents.
The evaluation concludes that more people could have genuine choice over their care and where they die if the ‘valuable’ resource was used more widely.
It says: “These results indicate that the resources, both the written guidance and the DVD, have been very effective in taking forward thinking and practice on end of life care. Their potential to influence practice could be greatly enhanced (if they are taken up) more widely.”
How can I get a copy?
For more information contact Sarah Vallelly, Intelligence Manager, Housing 21 on 0370 192 4511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org