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Problem Solving in Paediatric Palliative Care

In 2019, the University's School of Medicine, in collaboration with Ty Hafan Children's Hospice and the All Wales Managed Clinical Network for Children's Palliative Care, created a Masters level short CPD course in paediatric palliative care.


The University has been running Palliative Care short CPD courses and Masters programmes for several years with great success. This professional development training programme was developed in response to requests from paediatric teams who were looking for similar opportunities. Research suggests that there is a need to increase the paediatric palliative care skills of health care professionals working with children with life limiting / life threatening conditions. There are many challenges, particularly as the range of conditions encountered in this field of medicine is vast, and clinicians come from varying backgrounds and workplaces.

The University offers an existing suite of MSc and Diploma (set at Masters level 7) programmes, but feedback from clinicians suggested that these can be too time-consuming for the majority of professionals, who welcome simple and clear support in developing their knowledge of symptom control, communication skills and care for patients in the last year of life.

This blended learning CPD course was therefore developed and designed for physicians, nurses, psychologists, therapists and other professionals working with children, in particular those interested in end-of-life/palliative care with a commitment to implementation and dissemination of paediatric end-of-life/palliative care education within their institution or organisation. The programme included four face-to-face sessions, each covering a different key topic. Learning was supported with online sessions and a final assessment.

The course focused on helping delegates develop systems that focus on problem solving (in the context of good background skills knowledge) in order to translate theory into practice and effect lasting change. It also aimed to improve the quality of care and culture within professional teams.


The group included nurses, complementary therapists, occupational therapists, paediatric registrars and consultants.

Creating an interdisciplinary group was a deliberate tactic, designed to build and widen delegates' understanding of the vast subject area. It also allowed for interesting and diverse discussions during the face-to-face sessions.

Course content

This was a blended learning programme, comprising four face-to-face sessions, with supplementary online learning. Assessment was via a presentation and a 3,000-word portfolio.

  • Early days: principles and philosophy of paediatric palliative care, identification of need, referral to services, assessment
  • Period of stability/need for parallel planning - including symptom control
  • End-of-life phase including Paediatric Advance Care plan (PAC-Plan)
  • Bereavement and staff support

A portion of the course also involved supporting delegates through a specific ‘problem’ in their workplace in order to take theoretical skills into practice.


Delegates have reported:

  • the course will improve their daily practice and the support they can provide children and their families
  • improved confidence
  • improved communication with families.

The course will impact/change my practice by involving the family to help prioritise ongoing care.

Delegate feedback

This course is providing invaluable knowledge and experience for my clinical practice..I really benefitted from the group discussions / scenarios and chatting through difficult cases.

Delegate feedback

I have thoroughly enjoyed the course; I have gained so much knowledge and information that will be included to move daily palliative care forward with my health board. Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this course.

Delegate feedback


Following completion of the short course, four delegates have enrolled onto the MSc Palliative Care programme at the University.

Download our brochure

There are many opportunities within the University for CPD short courses in a variety of subject areas, including medicine and healthcare:

If you would like to find out more about CPD opportunities in Palliative Care and other medical disciplines, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly CPD team: