Helping St. Anne’s community services improve end of life care
St Anne’s Community Services is a Yorkshire-based organisation that provides a wide range of support for vulnerable people across the region, including those with serious and long term mental health conditions and learning disabilities.
Many of the people in their residential care will, unfortunately, never return home. Caring for a patient who is approaching the end of their life requires specialist skills and knowledge. Staff at St Anne’s Community Services in Huddersfield have developed and implemented a unique and comprehensive approach to End of Life Care that they wanted to roll out nationally, with the hope of helping people live well right up until the end of their lives.
Developed and constantly refined over many years, the St Anne’s team felt they had an approach to end of life care that provided the best possible quality of life for people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities. This particular combination of circumstances, they felt, was neglected in existing care standards and training.
The team at St Anne’s approached Limehouse to help them formalise the approach they had developed into a training package that could be easily adopted by other care services around the country. Having plenty of experience with caring for their patients, but very little of developing and delivering training, they required our communications expertise to help them distill the key information and present it in a way that could be conveyed effectively - and accessed from anywhere.
The first step we took was to fully understand the complex issues that underpinned the need for this training package. We spent time getting to know the St Anne’s team, which in turn told us much about the audience we were developing this training for.
They had accumulated a mass of different forms, manuals, references and other documents. Our next task was to distill the most crucial information from this content, reviewing and re-writing where required to ensure optimum clarity and effectiveness. Regular meetings with the St Anne’s team were arranged to review progress and share our recommendations.
We also produced a film about the work carried out by the St Anne’s team at their residential home in Huddersfield. Through the story of three people living there, it brought the team’s work to life for the viewer and demonstrated the value of their approach to end of life care.
Once the content was finalised, we designed a clear, easy to use training pack utilising a simple layout and broken down into colour-coded sections. The final output was a comprehensive training pack that could be used ‘off the shelf’ by any care service to improve their end of life care, and digital versions that could be accessed anywhere.
The team at St Anne’s has rolled out the training to other care providers in the immediate region, with great success. The training is now in demand nationally, and is showcased on their website.
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