Dunn, V. W., Topping, Annie and Lane, C. (2004) EAPC Abstracts: Does Education make a difference to Service Improvement? Interim Evaluation results from the Yorkshire Cancer Network (YCN) District Nurse Palliative Education Project. Palliative Medicine, 18 (4). pp. 364-365. ISSN 0269-2163

Recent UK policy statements recognise the important contribution of
community services to high quality provision of palliative care for people
wishing to die in their homes. In support of this activity the UK Department
of Health funded a number of cancer network-based educational projects
targeted at specialist community nurse practitioners (G grade district nurses)
as part of a strategic approach to increasing palliative care capability in the community. A partnership project delivered under the auspices of the YCN
was devised to deliver a structured educational programme based on 2
palliative care pathways currently in use in the UK: the Liverpool Integrated
Care Pathway for the Last 48 Hours of Life (Ellershaw & Wilkinson, 2003);
and the Gold Standards for Quality Palliative Care in the Community
(Thomas, 2003). This 3-year rolling programme began in May 2002 and
involves 2 educational facilitators working closely with 17 local community
health service providers to plan and deliver a programme based on the 2
pathways yet tailored for their organisation. The aim of the evaluation is to
identify the impact of this education programme on palliative care services.
The evaluation uses a multi-method approach exploring the effect of the
programme on the individual practitioner’s perception of competence in
palliative care, changes in the quality of palliative care delivered, and the
current and ongoing palliative care priorities of health care providers. This
paper will present interim data evaluating these objectives.

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