A new educational framework and toolkit has been launched in the UK and Ireland to improve training and guidance for those providing palliative and end of life care for children to establish a set of core principles of practice and standardise children’s palliative care learning for practitioners.
The Children’s Palliative Care Education and Training United Kingdom and Ireland Action Group (CPCET AG) was formed in 2019 in response to recommendations by the UK All-Party Parliament Group on the need for standardisation and alignment of current approaches to children’s palliative care. The Action Group brings together experts from 26 organisations in the UK and Ireland including universities, hospital trusts, charities and hospices.
The downloadable framework and self-assessment tool is not intended to regulate or limit education programmes but to provide a framework which it is hoped educationalists will use to coordinate and quality assure their programmes.
CPCET AG member Dr Duncan Randall, Senior Lecturer in Children and Young Peoples Nursing from Bournemouth University explains: “The framework has been designed in four levels – Public Health, Universal, Core and Specialist – making it suitable for people from a variety of professional backgrounds including those working directly with children with palliative care needs such as healthcare professionals and carers through to those who design, evaluate and advise others on the delivery of care to children and their families. The four levels have been designed to work as stand-alone resources or can be combined to suit a particular role.”
Katrina McNamara, Chair of the Association of British Paediatric Nurses, reflects “Our experience tells us that for a number of reasons, accessing children’s palliative care education and training can be difficult. Yet despite recommendations from parliamentary groups, numerous bodies and organisations on the need for a more joined up approach to children’s palliative care, until now, no educational framework had been established across the UK and Ireland.”
Dr Sue Neilson from the University of Birmingham’s School of Nursing, who coordinated the CPCET AG and collaborated on the design of the framework said: “By bringing together an Action Group comprised of people from across a range of disciplines, we have been able to create a new way for educators to deliver training that is both coordinated and quality assured while offering a consistent level of training for people from different professional backgrounds, or none to ensure the very best care for children with palliative or end of life care needs.”
The new materials were launched as part of a virtual launch event that took place on Thursday 26 November.