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Garden visit scheme to fund bursaries for nurse end of life care training

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A new partnership involving a gardening visiting scheme will help provide further training for specialist nurses and “excellence in care” to terminally ill patients, according to a leading charity.

Marie Curie has announced that its long-standing fund-raising partner the National Garden Scheme will be taking over sponsoring the charity’s bursary fund for nurses and other clinical staff.

“We are very thankful for the generosity of those people who open their gardens” 

Dee Sissons

The fund, which will now be known as the ‘National Garden Scheme Bursary Fund’, helps pay for Marie Curie nurses at the charity to undertake post-registered qualifications or specialist university modules in palliative and end of life care.

The scheme aims to raise levels of knowledge and expertise among clinical staff so they can provide terminally-ill patients and their families, with the highest possible standards of care and support.

Marie Curie’s partnership with the National Garden Scheme has raised over £7m since 1996. Thousands of people open their gardens to visitors each year to raise money for the scheme, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

Dee Sissons, director of nursing for Marie Curie, said: “As a charity, we’re committed to raising the standards of care for people living with a terminal illness. The education and training we give our nurses are absolutely central to this.

“We are very thankful for the generosity of the National Garden Scheme and those people who open their gardens to support it for the funding they provide to us and the difference that this makes to our nursing staff,” she said.

Dee Sissons

Dee Sissons

Dee Sissons

“This bursary fund supported by National Garden Scheme will help us to offer more opportunities to our nurses to further their qualifications in palliative and end of life care,” said Ms Sissons.

“It will go a long way to helping more of our nurses feel more confident in making those important decisions when they’re supporting people with a terminal illness and their loved ones,” she added.

Marie Curie nurse Ian Chisholm, who works at the charity’s hospice in Edinburgh, is currently completing a master’s degree in palliative care via the bursary fund.

He said: “I feel that my master’s degree has been instrumental in making me a better, more confident nurse and ultimately helps me provide the best possible care to patients and their families.”


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