NEWS: St Luke’s Six Steps care homes – Continue to drive up quality in end of life care

Here at St Luke’s one of our key aims is to educate and empower our community to encourage everyone to play a part in providing quality end of life care. Our education team have proven that they are doing just that.

In a recent audit of the Six Steps Care Homes, it is clear that all our End of Life Champions have been working hard to maintain the End of Life Quality Markers. The following statistics show the improvements made in the quality of end of life care for patients that have died in a care home within a six month period between September 2016 – February 2017.

  • 100% had a Treatment Escalation plan in place
  • 80% had their preferred place of death met
  • 72% had an Advance Care Plan conversation recorded
  • 78% had Anticipatory Drugs in place

The audit also showed that care home staff are accessing services like GPs and specialist nurses less as they feel more skilled to manage end of life care.

When compared with the previous audit, which covered years one to three of the programme, the figures showed an increase across the end of life standards achieved for patients in the care homes.

Education and development manager Paula Hine said, “This has been really encouraging for all of us, it shows that our End of Life Care Champions are feeling more confident and empowered in their role within an end of life setting. The training and workshops that we run provide our champions and care home staff with the skills, knowledge and resources that they need in order to facilitate and care for someone who is approaching end of life and these figures show that they are achieving that.”

In addition the team run the End of Life Champions forum in which so far 121 End of Life Champions have attended. The session provides a forum where champions can ask questions and receive professional updates from guest speakers.

Head of education Gail Wilson was delighted at the audit findings which demonstrated even those homes that have been registered with the Six Steps programme for the last four to five years are maintaining their quality markers for end of life care. She said, “We can be proud of our Six Steps care homes, to meet these quality markers in such challenging times shows real commitment to the programme and the residents they care for.”

The St Luke’s Six Steps + programme is a series of workshops developed by the education team, designed to provide care homes and agencies with a toolkit to provide quality end of life care that meets CQC end of life essential standards. The course also provides staff with an ongoing commitment as an End of Life Care Champion, enabling them to share knowledge and skills to peers and colleagues. Along with the Six Steps + programme our education team have been running free training sessions in End of Life Care, providing care home and domiciliary care agency staff with an overview of end of life care tools and care in the last days of life. The next training session is on Wednesday 13 September between 2pm and 4pm at Turnchapel. For more information visit the courses page.