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Leadership training programme to support 'vulnerable' palliative care specialist nurses

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A new leadership training programme for palliative care clinical nurse specialists has been launched in Glasgow to help tackle the increasing complexity of the role.

The 12-month project will see masterclasses and workshops offered to a group of eight band 6 clinical nurse specialists. It is being piloted by charities the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow and Action for Continuing Care Over Renfrew District (ACCORD) Hospice.

“Band 6 clinical nurse specialists in palliative care are working in a time of organisational change with increasing complexity around their role”

Jane Miller

Those behind the Inspiring Leadership programme said it had been set up after some nursing staff reported feeling vulnerable and anxious as they struggled to deliver high levels of care.

It will include training on methodologies used for improving quality, as well as providing a chance for participants to build their self-awareness, personal effectiveness and resilience skills.

Nurses who complete the master’s level training will be able to have their work accredited by Glasgow Caledonian University.

Set up jointly by the hospices with health board NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and national training body NHS Education for Scotland, it is hoped the initiative will become a nationally recognised palliative care leadership programme in the future.

“The 12-month programme was set up after recognising a potential gap in knowledge,” said Jane Miller, education facilitator at the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.

“Band 6 clinical nurse specialists in palliative care are working in a time of organisational change with increasing complexity around their specialist role,” she said.

jane miller

jane miller

Jane Miller

“Some staff have reported feeling vulnerable and anxious as they struggle to deliver high levels of care to patients and families,” she noted.

Ms Miller described the programme as offering a “safe space for clinical nurse specialists taking part to share and learn from each other, while embedding the values, behaviours and attitudes of leadership skills”.

“Newly appointed staff, in particular, have been reporting an increase in stress levels within their teams. And with the number of band 6 palliative care clinical nurse specialists in acute settings increasing, it is essential to support and develop them,” she said.

At the end of the programme, nurses will be able to showcase their work during an event due to be held in February 2018.

Ms Miller added: “A move towards mentorship and succession planning paved the way for this new programme. It now provides an opportunity to continue building leadership capacity across NHS GGC palliative care teams and ensure we have leaders who are prepared for senior strategic roles in the future.”

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