Old person hospital admissionMarie Curie has launched a new free online resource for health and social care professionals who don’t have expertise in palliative and end of life care.  It is the first time that a comprehensive and robust suite of end of life care material has been made available free, quickly and easily accessible all in one place. 

Evidence suggests that some health and social care professionals feel uncomfortable talking about the dying process because they don’t have the knowledge and confidence to do so.  This can be a huge barrier to providing high quality care.  

The new Marie Curie Palliative Care Knowledge Zone aims to help give generalist health and social care staff the confidence to talk openly with their patients and provide the best possible care to meet their individual needs and wishes. 

The Palliative Care Knowledge Zone content covers key aspects of end of life care, including managing and alleviating symptoms, providing care for people with specific conditions, focusing on the needs of the individual and helping people during their final days. It also includes links to existing resources and signposts to other relevant organisations, where appropriate. 

The content has been reviewed by a panel of experts from Marie Curie and other relevant organisations and user tested by members of the Queens’ Nursing Institute.

Tracey Buckley, Marie Curie’s Palliative Care Knowledge Zone project lead and former Clinical Nurse Manager at Marie Curie, said: “We developed the Knowledge Zone with busy frontline professionals in mind.  We’ve made sure that staff can access the right information as quickly as possible to support them in their caring role. User testing and early feedback have been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re confident that health and social care professionals will find our information and support useful in helping them to improve their knowledge and confidence in caring for people with a terminal illness.”

The Knowledge Zone is suitable for different professional groups, including qualified and unqualified staff working across acute, community and primary care settings.  It is particularly useful to junior members of staff and those with limited experience of caring for people with a terminal illness, especially those with non-cancer conditions. 

Professor Bill Noble, one of the expert contributors and Executive Medical Director at Marie Curie, said:  “We know that many professionals do not feel that they have received  sufficient training on the care of people with a terminal illness and are not always aware of what resources are available to assist them. It's vital that people with a terminal illness and those involved in their care get the support they need.  By sharing our expertise, we hope that more health and social care professionals feel more confident and better able to deliver the high quality, compassionate care that everyone expects and deserves.”