Edge Hill Partnership

Queenscourt Hospice Southport and Edge Hill University Partnership

An exciting collaborative partnership, between Queenscourt Hospice Southport and Edge Hill University, which commenced in 2016-17, has seen the development of an original and inspiring programme for front line health care professionals, aiming to equip them to provide the best possible evidence based palliative and end of life care. This Postgraduate Certificate (and Master’s Programme) consists of three Palliative and End of Life Care Modules delivered face to face and online (hybrid model).

These provide an overview of Palliative and End of Life Care (HEA4197 Transforming Integrated Palliative & End of Life Care), a comparison of the end of life for people with different diseases (HEA4219 Transforming End of Life Trajectories) and an in depth look at the very important areas of communication and spiritual care (HEA4252 Transforming End of Life Communication & Spiritual Care). For those who continue on to the MSc, their dissertation includes completion of two cycles of clinical audit, an educational intervention and change management to improve some aspect of Palliative and End of Life Care.

Dr Karen Groves, previous Medical and Education Director at Queenscourt, and Honorary Clinical Professor at Edge Hill University said “Palliative and end of life care is crucial to those who have need of it. We have only one chance to get it right for patients and their families and we know that staff are keen to do their very best. Yet many feel they do not have knowledge, confidence or skills to ensure the care they provide is ‘state of the art’. This interactive, clinically focused, programme covers all the key components of holistic palliative and end of life care, to enable enthusiastic frontline professionals to provide the finest possible care for the patient and their family.”

Professor Barbara Jack, Professor of End of Life Care in the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Medicine at Edge Hill University, who is supporting the module, said: “The passion of the students, and hunger to learn how to provide the best care for their patients, is amazing, and by the interactive mode of the course it is clear to see how they develop enhanced skills”.

Keen participants on the multi-professional course come from medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, chaplaincy and paramedic practice in hospital, hospice and community settings. Staff, already committed to working with patients approaching the end of life, use scenarios based around a virtual street and its families, to translate theory into practice in a very real way for them, considering the available evidence, how to put it into practice, and developing their knowledge, skills and confidence.

Feedback from participants shows that they feel excited, enthused, well supported and ‘champing at the bit’ to learn new skills, in mastery of the subject matter. As one participant put it: “I have done many master’s modules, but never one quite like this one!”

Queenscourt, with its now well established, programme is able, with the help, support and joint working of Edge Hill, to create a lasting educational legacy which will benefit the people of West Lancs, Southport and Formby, as well as those farther afield, for many years to come.