Today (8 February 2017), Scottish Care has launched its latest report relating to the role of social care staff in palliative and end of life care.
‘Trees that bend in the wind: Exploring the experiences of front line support workers delivering palliative and end of life care’ is a 47 page report which provides a forum where the views, experiences and values of social care staff in palliative and end of life supports are explored in detail.
It has allowed those involved in the front line of social care to:
- speak for themselves
- share their insights on what constitutes good palliative support
- express their frustrations and anxieties, and
- explain what keeps them going in the face of such emotional challenges.
The report highlights the contributions of 50 individual staff in care home and care at home services in four areas of Scotland who took part in structured focus groups. The research took place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Highland and Dumfries and Galloway but the insights are without boundary or geography.
The report was launched on the 8th February at an event which brought together over 100 stakeholders from across Scotland who explored together its insights and recommendations.
At the event Scottish Care’s Chief Executive, Dr Donald Macaskill, highlighted Scottish Care’s commitment to ensuring that the often unrecognised and undervalued contribution of social care staff in palliative and end of life care was given a greater prominence at both policy and practice levels.
He said the aim of the research was to ensure that everyone in Scotland was able to achieve a truly person centred end of life experience by being supported by staff who were properly resourced and supported. He reflected on the way in which the ‘tree that bends’ (an image from one of the workers to describe their role) was in danger of breaking unless front line care staff are adequately supported.
Dr Macaskill encouraged all stakeholders to work together with Scottish Care to ensure the recommendations in the report, which arose directly from the insights of the frontline workforce and which included a call for a National Conversation on Dying, were enacted as soon as possible. In addition, the report highlights the potential contribution of social care staff to supporting the work of Integrated Joint Boards in achieving positive end of life outcomes, including the benefits of joint team-working and the value of Anticipatory Care Planning. It also stresses the need to explore the role of commissioning practice in relation to palliative and end of life care in social care delivery.
We hope you will find reading the report of interest. It is also available in hard copy format directly from the Scottish Care offices.
We would be more than happy to meet with individuals and organisations to discuss ways in which we could work collaboratively in the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
If you have any questions either about the report or our work with front line support staff, please don’t hesitate to contact Katharine Ross, Becca Gatherum or Donald Macaskill.