Essentials in Palliative Medicine course delivered to GPs across Gibraltar
The University’s Palliative Care team has delivered three days of professional training to GPs in Gibraltar, as part of a formal collaboration with Gibraltar Health Authority, Cancer Relief and City Hospice to increase resource to palliative care services. The Palliative Care team was approached by Gibraltar’s Ministry of Health to deliver the training.
City Hospice, the local community palliative care team in Cardiff, has twinned with Gibraltar’s flagship palliative care base, St. Bernards Hospital, in order to increase skills and knowledge in this key area of medicine. The University’s Palliative Care team, headed by Fiona Rawlinson, participated in this collaboration with the objective of supporting GP education in Gibraltar.
There is a need to increase the palliative care skills of all health care professionals in order to meet the rising morbidity and mortality of incurable conditions – now no longer confined to cancer, but encompassing dementia, end-stage respiratory and end-stage cardiac conditions. It is also necessary to develop systems that focus on improving the quality of care and culture within teams – especially in this field of health care.
The University has a 10-year history of delivering effective palliative care education across a suite of short Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses. The MSc/Diploma delivery team developed a successful face-to-face Palliative Care Update CPD course as a response to the rising morbidity and mortality of incurable conditions. It provides a good grounding in palliative medicine and care, covering cancer, dementia, end-stage respiratory and end-stage cardiac conditions.
Essentials in Palliative Medicine is a new course, based on the successful Palliative Care Update, which is itself one of a growing portfolio of palliative-care training offered at the University. The course was delivered to GPs and other professionals from the multi-disciplinary team involved in caring for palliative patients in Gibraltar.
The one-day course was repeated three times, in order to maximise opportunities for clinicians and healthcare professionals to attend. All GPs across Gibraltar were given the opportunity to attend.
The course was delivered by Dr Fiona Rawlinson and Dr Margred Capel from City Hospice. Teaching was designed to be interactive, case-based and clinically focussed in order to generate transformative change in palliative care practice, with an emphasis on reflective practice and ongoing professional development.
Delegates were encouraged to contribute individual impact statements on areas they wish to develop, and statements on how they intend to develop their team knowledge and share practice. The session of improving an aspect of palliative-care delivery within the team or setting will benefit clinical services and allow delegates to effect positive change.
Outcomes and evaluation
The course was designed to increase clinicians and healthcare professionals’ knowledge and confidence in caring for patients with palliative care needs, as well as their communication skills, including working with the families of patients.
We have received initial feedback from delegates, and will further review outcomes and impact on practice at three and six months after the training.
We are in the process of reviewing the programme with a view to creating a successful model to deliver to other international alumni.
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