A new training programme has been launched that will improve the skills of staff and volunteers who provide support to people providing end of life care for a relative or friend at home.
The programme has been developed by Professor Jane Seymour, Dr Beth Hardy and Dr Glenys Caswell from the University of Nottingham together with the Carers Federation, and jointly funded by Marie Curie and Dimbleby Cancer Care. It will provide participants with insight into the practical and emotional needs of carers and confidence to deliver support and mentorship. The core training is designed to be delivered over one day and includes discussion guides, group exercises and film clips of carers talking about their experiences.
Bill Noble, Medical Director at Marie Curie said: “Carers of patients approaching the end of life assume great responsibility in ensuring that the care is delivered. Just in the area of cancer, research by UCL found that unpaid carers of people with terminal cancer provide health and social care worth £219million each year.
Yet there is often limited help available to them. We need to recognise the contribution carers make and ensure that they are adequately supported in their role. This programme will enable those that support carers to understand their needs and provide more effective advice and mentorship.”
Robin Pritchard, Director at Dimbleby Cancer Care said: “The experience of caring for a loved one at the end of their life is likely to be unknown territory for most people and there is therefore undoubtedly a great need for effective mentorship and support. A key consideration has been to ensure that the training programme enables those that support carers to provide relevant, jargon free explanations of care concepts and practical demonstrations.”
Several health and social care organisations have already been involved in piloting the training including Marie Curie who has been using it to train its Support Line advisers, and volunteers for the charity’s recently launched Helper service.
The training programme is free to use and can be accessed online here.