In June 2010, the Department of Health (DoH) in the UK released a call to apply for funding to support projects focused on benefiting the lives of children and young people with palliative and complex health care needs and their families. A programme of work was subsequently developed from 2010–2014 including an innovative e-learning programme and important projects seeking to explore issues around competence of care skills and communication challenges in the field of children and young people with palliative care.
Aims The aim in this workshop is to share reflections from a recent narrative literature review as part of a programme of work which focused on confidence and competence of care skills. Results of the review will be shared but will provide a platform for critical debate around challenges and new directions in children and young people’s palliative care.
Methods A narrative review will be firstly shared. Combinations of selected key words were systematically applied to identify research on health professionals’ confidence and competence when caring for children and young people’s using palliative care services. Articles meeting the inclusion criteria were read and descriptively summarised using data extraction sheets. A narrative synthesis was conducted by examining commonly reported issues which were then condensed into overarching themes.
Results Limited research is available that explores health professionals’ confidence and competence when caring for children and young people’s using palliative care services. Technological advancements, range of conditions/needs; communication challenges/decision-making and resource costs including specialist staff featured as significant themes. Improvements in staff education and training may help to overcome some of the identified issues.
Conclusion Debate in the workshop will focus on the implications of this review and programme of work in the current climate. Delegates will be invited to critically discuss potential new directions. Having confidence and being competent in skills is the cornerstone of quality of care and it is important that we reflect to move forward in caring for this specialist group.
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