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DH director: care home staff need training in end of life care

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Care home staff should increasingly receive training in the provision of end of life care, a senior Department of Health director has suggested.

DH director of social care David Behan said: “One could argue that with the average stay in residential care homes being under two years and declining, residential care in this country is in effect becoming end of life.

“Therefore, there are key issues about what does that workforce in care homes need. With more people choosing to die at home, increasingly the skills of domiciliary care workers are going to be about end of life.”

Assessing the skills they would require was “really important”, Mr Behan told a Westminster Health Forum event.

He highlighted the importance of the forthcoming work of Skills for Health and Skills for Care in developing minimum training standards for care assistants – announced last year by the government as an alternative to mandatory regulation.

Data collected by Skills for Care in 2007 found 7% of care home workers and 5% of nursing home workers had an NVQ level 3 qualification including optional training in end of life care.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    There is a 'pretty enormous' need for better End-of-Life training, especially for patients who are inside their own homes.

    And 'Assessing the skills they would require was “really important”,' is a very relevant issue, as is assessing whether the beliefs around EoL which are currently 'clinically mainstream' are actually appopriate.

    At least some, or even most, people in senior positions are becoming willing to actually admit that this is a problem which needs addressing - a necessary first step.

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