Centre helps deliver skills and knowledge

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THE HOSPICE’S state of the art education centre aims to strengthen links with the community, provide support for healthcare professionals and raise awareness of the work the hospice does.

The crucial role of education is reflected in the important roles of education coordinator Trish Atkinson, lecturer practitioner Louise Barnes, consultant in palliative medicine Dr Sarah Callin, and Ann Harper who is the director of nursing.

Through the education programme, the department is able to provide healthcare professionals with the skills and confidence they need to care for people living with life limiting conditions.

Louise Barnes, who has worked at the hospice for 20 years, ensures the teaching provided by the centre reflects current practice.

She said: “We try to remain proactive and reactive; a lot of our work now is trying to provide the knowledge and skills to all professionals who are working with patients whether it be in the home, hospital ward or a nursing home to cover life limiting conditions.

“A lot of patients are cared for in different environments, so it’s our job to help and support people. By providing education we’re helping healthcare professionals to become more confident in providing care.”

This education takes many forms, including anything from small out-reach sessions, lunchtime session to full and half day conferences (to view the education programme for 2011/12, please visit the website www.stcatherineshospice-nyorks.org).

In March this year, the hospice hosted its fifth national two day conference jointly with the Royal Society of Medicine held at the Spa.

It attracted an audience of approximately 180 healthcare professionals from across the country and featured many well known key speakers with the aim to explore the future role of specialist palliative care within the current healthcare environment.

The centre works collaboratively with Scarborough Hospital to deliver an accredited course for qualified nurses wishing to gain points towards a degree in palliative care. It also runs a York St John University accredited bereavement module.

Awareness sessions about the work the hospice does are also carried out in local schools and colleges.

The education centre’s modern facilities are also available to hire for the public.

Education coordinator Trish Atkinson, who also helps to organise other events both at the hospice and external venues including, for example, community hospitals, nursing homes and surgeries, said: “A lot of people who use the centre say it’s great to get away from the work place.

“We are also responsible for internal staff training and development. Incorporated within this is mandatory training delivered to staff and volunteers, which is integral to the running of the hospice.”

The modern, spacious building offers a choice of room sizes and a range of facilities, depending on the needs of the group.

Any of the rooms can be hired by local businesses and organisations and are suitable for formal and informal meetings, conferences and other events.

The main meeting room can take up to 50 delegates and has flip chart, overhead projector, power point, TV/DVD/video and chairs and tables.

Room one and two can take up to 10 people and are both equipped with a flip chart, chairs and tables, while the mini board room takes up to 12 people.

Rooms are available from £12.50 per hour during the day, catering can be provided on request. For more prices, availability or to organise a tour of the centre, please ring 01723 356022.