Real Lives Wellbeing

Support for care workers providing end of life care

As it’s Dying Matters Awareness week this month, Skills for Care looks at what support is available for care workers providing end of life care.

One of the areas that Skills for Care provides valuable resources for is around end of life care.  End of life care is an essential service in adult social care, providing care, support, and comfort not only to people nearing the end of their life but also to their loved ones.

Looking after people who are approaching the end of their life, and those who are close to them, can be emotional and challenging, particularly as it could be someone you have supported for some time.  It requires the care workforce to not only be competent and have the skills and knowledge required, but to also be kind, compassionate and resilient.

Skills for Care’s recorded webinar for managers ‘Managing bereavement’ may be useful to support staff who have experienced the bereavement of a person they have supported, or indeed to manage any loss in their personal life.

The generally accepted definition of end of life care, is providing care and support when a person is thought to be in the final year of their life.  It isn’t an exact science, and it can be hard to predict an accurate timeframe, and so some people may only receive end of life care for months, weeks or even days.

End of life care aims to help to manage symptoms, control pain and enhance a person’s quality of life in their final months, weeks or days whilst observing their wishes and preferences to support them to have a ‘good death’. On a practical level it could be to support people with daily tasks such as washing and dressing, eating, mouth care, and emotional support.

Skills for Care recognises the importance of the care and support that the care workforce provides to people at the end of life and has a range of resources, many developed with partners, to support employers to help their workers to develop the skills and knowledge they need to provide excellent end of life care.

If new staff will be working with people who are at the of their end of life, the Tailoring the care certificate resource to add context during their induction will be useful.

The Common core principles are aimed at non-specialist workers. They set out the principles for working with adults at the end of their life, and describe the underpinning competences, knowledge, and values that workers should have.

The End of life core skills education and training framework is an extension of the Common Core Principles and aims to support employers to educate, train and support their workers.  This framework has been developed to align with the Dementia, Mental Health and Learning Disability Frameworks – all of which sit under the overarching Framework for Person-Centred Care.

e-ELCA (End of life care for all) is a free e-learning programme which offers over 180 eLearning sessions which are written, peer-reviewed and regularly updated by leading experts.  Skills for Care has been involved in the development of two learning pathways to develop knowledge around end of life care.

There is one learning path for care workers and one learning path for nurses.

To access e-ELCA, users need to register on the HEE elfh hub


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