A leading charity has set up a free online tool to help support professionals in the health and social care sector in giving palliative and end of life care.
This resource has been launched by Marie Curie who has collated a selection of in-depth material on end of life care and made it freely available in a quick and easy to access place.
Research suggests that some health and social care professionals are not at ease when talking to patients about the dying process, creating a huge barrier between them and the people receiving end of life care.
Marie Curie's Knowledge Zone aims to give general staff the confidence to be able to speak with their patients and provide the best possible care to cater to their individual needs and wishes.
The Knowledge Zone has been reviewed by an expert panel comprising representatives from Marie Curie and other organisations and has been tested by members of the Queen's Nursing Institue.
It covers a range of aspects of end of life care, including managing and alleviating symptons, providing care for people with specific conditions and also focuses on the needs of the individual and helping them through their final days.
Tracey Buckley, Marie Curie's Palliative Care Knowledge Zone project lead and former clinical nurse manager at Marie Curie said: “We developed the Knowledge Zone with busy frontline professionals in mind. We’ve made sure that staff can access the right information as quickly as possible to support them in their caring role.
“User testing and early feedback have been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re confident that health and social care professionals will find our information and support useful in helping them to improve their knowledge and confidence in caring for people with a terminal illness.”
The Knowledge Zone can be used by a wide range of healthcare professionals, including qualified and unqualified staff working across actue, community and primary care settings.
It can be particularly helpful to junior members of staff who may not have much experience of caring for people with a terminal illness.
Professor Bill Noble, executive medial director at Marie Curie and one of the expert contributors on the project, believes this new resource has the power to signifcantly transform the care people receive.
He said: “We know that many professionals do not feel that they have received sufficient training on the care of people with a terminal illness and are not always aware of what resources are available to assist them."
“It's vital that people with a terminal illness and those involved in their care get the support they need. By sharing our expertise, we hope that more health and social care professionals feel more confident and better able to deliver the high quality, compassionate care that everyone expects and deserves.”
Visit mariecurie.org.uk/knowledgezone to access the Palliative Care Knowledge Zone or if you are supporting someone who has questions about terminal illness please ring the Marie Curie support line on 0800 090 2309.