End of Life Care for all (Public Access) - e-Learning for Healthcare
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About the End of Life Care for All programme

End of Life Care for All (e-ELCA) is an e-learning resource designed to enhance the training and education of all those involved in delivering end of life care.

The e-learning sessions available on this site are suitable for social care workers, administrative and clerical staff and volunteers.

Health and social care professionals should visit End of Life Care for details on how to access the wider e-learning programme.

The e-learning is separated into the following courses:

  • Introduction- the two sessions in this course introduce you to this e-learning programme and the concept of end of life care
  • Advance care planning
  • Assessment
  • Communications skills
  • Symptom management, comfort and well being

To use the e-learning, please select a session from the courses below.

Each session should take around 20 minutes to complete and can be used in any order you choose.

Please note that if you access the content below, your progress and completion of sessions will not be recorded and you will not be able to generate a record of completion. If you require evidence of learning, please register and then log in to access this programme on the e-LfH Hub.

Introduction

  • Introduction to e-learning for End of Life Care

    This session is your guide on how to use this e-learning programme for End of Life Care (e-ELCA). It also explains why it was developed and how it can be used to support learning.

  • Relationship Between Palliative Care and End of Life Care

    This session will describe what is meant by the terms palliative care and end of life care, and what they have in common. Two case studies will be used to explain their relevance to patients with advanced progressive illnesses, and their families. The session will provide an overview of key components of palliative care and end of life care.

Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process of discussion between an individual and his/her care provider.

This process of ACP is to make clear a person’s wishes in anticipation of a deterioration in their condition in the future, with associated loss of capacity to make decisions and/or ability to communicate wishes to others. It only comes into effect if, and when, a person has lost such capacity.

The contemporaneous (at-the-time) decision of the individual always takes precedence whilst he or she has the mental capacity to make that decision.

  • Introduction to Principles of Advance Care Planning

    This session gives an introduction to the notion of advance care planning - what it is and what it is not, and how it should be used.

Assessment

Assessment is a pre-requisite to providing high quality care.

In the context of end of life care, assessment needs to be comprehensive and holistic, yet efficient and thoughtfully targeted, mindful of the patient’s limited energy and stamina.

Its potential to exhaust patients must be taken into account, so assessments must be conducted purposefully, not just to tick the boxes or complete a full set of documentation.

The process of assessment itself may be a therapeutic encounter that should not be underestimated.

  • Introduction to principles of assessment: Part 1

    This session introduces the learner to the principles of assessment in the context of end of life care: why it is necessary, how it helps in the overall management of the patient and the importance of holistic assessment.

    END 02 002It also reminds learners that patients have limited energy and comprehensive assessments are likely to have to be carried out in stages.

  • Introduction to principles of assessment: Part 2

    This session describes the stages of the end of life care pathway, and where and when assessments are particularly important.

Communication skills

Effective communication skills are fundamental to providing high quality care for people approaching the end of their lives and to properly support those close to them.

Communication is an active process requiring interaction with others, so there is a limit to how much you can develop your communication skills through e-learning alone. However, these sessions allow you to gain some understanding about the principles of communication within the context of end of life care.

  • The importance of good communication

    This session explains the importance of good communication in the context of end of life care. It sets out the principles of good communication, and describes the consequences of good and bad communication for patients, families and those working with them.

  • Principles of communication

    This session looks at how you can facilitate good communication - whether you are a patient, a carer or a healthcare professional. It considers the basic factors needed to make communication helpful for all those involved.

  • Communication with ill people

    This session explains how communication with people who are very ill or dying differs from communication with those who have plenty of physical and mental energy. It deals with the special considerations that are required for communication in this context.

  • Talking with ill people - considering the surrounding environment in which the conversation takes place

    This session picks up the issues regarding the environment in which conversations with those facing the end of their life might take place, e.g. noisy hospital, home or care home environment in which private conversations may be difficult, the fact that the ill patient cannot be easily moved.

  • Culture and language in communication

    This session explores the challenges faced by administrative staff, volunteers and other non-clinical workers when communicating with patients near the end of life and those caring for them. It describes the skills required to manage these situations.

  • Communication skills for administrative staff, volunteers and other non-clinical workers

    This session deals with the telephone and written communication skills required by all those who are involved in end of life care.

Symptom management

Effective symptom management is crucial in end of life care. It enables patients to make the most of their remaining time with a reasonable quality of life, enjoying their family and friends. It helps to put them in a position to make choices and decisions about their own care.

This set of sessions introduces the basic principles and process of helping to improve symptom control for these patients. It is intended to be informative for those who are not responsible for symptom management, but who frequently witness the impact of uncontrolled symptoms on patient’s lives.

Health professionals who are responsible for this aspect of care should access the full suite of e-learning sessions and undertake other training and education.

  • General approach to assessment of symptoms

    This session provides a general approach to the assessment of symptoms, an essential first step before a plan for symptom management and care can be started.

  • Agreeing a plan of management and care

    This session moves the learner on from working out a diagnosis to making a plan, which is discussed and agreed with the patient.

  • Communicating the plan of management and care

    This session deals with the communication issues related to symptom management - being able to explain the plan to the patient, his/her carer if appropriate and to other relevant members of the team.

e-LfH is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies