E-learning resources for staff working in end-of-life care were launched today in an attempt to improve access to training in the sector.
The training, commissioned by the Department of Health and the National End of Life Care Programme, will eventually offer more than 100 sessions, covering assessment, advanced care planning, communication skills and symptom management.
The programme fulfils one of the government’s commitments under the July 2008 end-of-life care strategy.
The training will be free once care staff have been registered. Unregistered staff can access 12 sessions.
The National Council for Palliative Care’s director of policy, Simon Chapman, said end-of-life care training should be mandatory for all care staff.
“This project will make an important contribution to that, but we need to ensure that all staff can access training and that a range of resources are developed,” he said.
Des Kelly, executive director of the National Care Forum, which represents voluntary care providers, welcomed the programme but said providers needed to match it with more intensive training.
“You cannot rely on e-learning as the only method of training, especially in an area where attitudes are as important as knowledge,” he said.