Research Output
Understanding the education and support needs of those providing children's palliative care in Scotland
  Aim - To identify the current and future education, learning and continuing professional development requirements of staff and volunteers working in children’s palliative care.

Design – Employing a qualitative exploratory design, data was collected through focus groups to gain a better understanding of the following: 1) education, learning and development opportunities currently available; 2) learning and development requirements including any unmet needs; 3) preferred learning methods and approaches; and 4) the wider role of children’s hospices in palliative care education.

Results – A total of 79 participants took part in the project – 61 via focus groups and 18 via an online survey - representing a wide range of services and care providers including the NHS (acute and community), children’s hospices, the voluntary sector, social care and education. The findings were extensive identifying a number of learning needs with particular importance being placed on communication skills, end of life and bereavement care, managing complex ethical dilemmas, and the emotional impact of working within children’s palliative care. Participants proposed a variety of recommendations to inform and influence the delivery of children’s palliative care education.

Conclusion – There is a strong appetite for educational development in children’s palliative care. This project contributes to the existing evidence base surrounding the requirement for further development of educational initiatives to enhance capacity and capability of the workforce. Moreover, it advocates a national, standardised and accessible approach to ensure children’s palliative care education is embedded across all settings.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    23 May 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Children's Hospice Association Scotland


Malcolm, C., McGirr, D., & Grant, J. (2019, May). Understanding the education and support needs of those providing children's palliative care in Scotland. Paper presented at 16th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Berlin, Germany


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