Lothian care assistant development programme – an education initiative

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Introduction and aims

With Scottish Government’s integration of health and social care, social care teams are increasingly leading the care for elderly clients and their families who are living with a terminal illness and also have multiple complex care needs. Addressing the palliative care learning needs of social care workers is essential to ensure the provision of high quality palliative care in families’ in their preferred place of care, and to reduce emergency admissions to hospital where avoidable.

Introduction and aims

The education programme aimed to increase the knowledge and confidence of social care workers working in a care home or home care setting in Lothian.


Through consultation, a tiered approach to learning was developed. Care workers attended a single training day, with a portion going on to complete an online module. The module was contextualised to reflect the Lothian focus. Care workers were supported by a workplace mentor.


500 social care workers will have completed the single day training and 75 will have gone on to have completed the online professional development module by the conference date. Single day evaluation, pre and post knowledge and confidence questionnaire and focus groups are being used to evaluate the programme and its transferability.


To achieve the aims set out in the Strategic Framework for Action on Palliative and End of Life Care, it is essential that social care teams are adequately supported and trained to provide high quality palliative care for people and their families living with a terminal illness.

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