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Sharing Current Scottish Practice

Enhanced Palliative Care for Generalists Course

There is a hunger from non-specialists, in both Primary and Secondary care, for enhanced training in practical Palliative Care. With the aging population there will be an increasing need for enhanced palliative care to be delivered across the medical professions. At present there are a number of courses available, mainly distance learning, and often quite time consuming and too academic for a generalist looking to advance their skills and seeking practical guidance. Following feedback on the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines, where there were comments that broader and more detailed guidance would be helpful, a proposal was taken to Macmillan to support the development of a training course for generalists.

The proposed Enhanced Palliative Care for Generalists course will be an educational program based on the well established model of a comprehensive, well evidenced, manual underpinning a two day interactive course. This model has been used successfully across the world to train nurses, doctors, paramedics, and allied health professionals. Examples of these include ATLS, ALS, PHTLS, APLS, and GEMS, amongst others. Areas covered include trauma, medical emergencies, paediatrics, and care of the elderly, but at present there is no similar course for Palliative Care. Macmillan have granted funding to develop one over the next 18 months to two years.

The proposal is to prepare a pre-course manual, and develop an interactive course that will be run over two consecutive days. This will include lectures to cover the principal issues, small group workshops, skill stations, and “real life” scenarios. There will be an assessment at the end, which will probably involve a MCQ and some form of practical assessment. The course will follow the general structure of the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines, and have these as a core resource. The project has the support of both Health Improvement Scotland, and the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.

To develop the project, a steering group is being established, with membership including specialists in palliative medicine from all the professions involved, generalists, and an educator. They will oversee the direction and co-ordination of the project. The aim is to have this group meet for the first time towards the end of June.

The group will be chaired by the project clinical lead, Neil Pryde, who is responsible for delivering the final product. Class Professional Publishing are partnering to produce the course materials, and will provide support and guidance throughout the project. Writing of the manual will be divided into around twelve sections. Each of these will have a main author, with a specialist interest in the area covered, leading a small group. There will be a separate group to develop the interactive course. Finally the materials will be peer reviewed, and the course piloted, prior to release.

By Neil Pryde, Project Clinical Lead.

For further information or if you are interested in being involved with the steering group, writing parts of the manual, or developing the interactive course please email or phone Neil Pryde 07770574467

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