Hospice UK responds to RCN survey of children's nurses

Jun 24, 2015

Commenting on a new survey of children’s nurses by The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that found an alarming lack of training and resources in children’s end of life care, Marie Cooper, Practice Development Lead at Hospice UK, said:

“With almost every children’s nurse surveyed reporting that they work with children and young people with limited life expectancy, to hear that fewer than half (48%) feel they have the skills, time and resources to provide the palliative care that these children need is deeply concerning. It is also concerning that a fifth (20%) of children’s nurses have not received any specific training in this area.

“This lack of training and resource has a very real impact on the experiences of children with life-limiting conditions and their families. Their choices at this difficult time are limited as a result with over a third (36%) of children’s nurses not feeling able to offer the possibility of dying at home, almost a third (31.3%) not having the resources to deliver this support at home and more than half (57%) reporting that they have directed a child who had asked to die at home to a hospice.

“Hospice UK welcomes the RCN’s call for more resources and training in this area so that children with life-limiting conditions, and their families, can access the care that they deserve at the most difficult of times. Many hospices are already working with local NHS services and are keen to share their expertise and enable the best care possible.

“The findings and implications of this report resonate strongly with what we continue to learn year-on-year in the wider context from 2014’s National Care of the Dying Audit and one of the nine recommendations from the Francis Inquiry report in 2013 – namely the ‘need to enhance… education and training and support’ particularly in nursing. Unless we attend urgently to the fundamental rights of staff to be equipped with the skills and confidence to deliver care, we risk seeing similar results in 2016 and beyond.”

 The full survey findings are available on the RCN's website.

 Notes to Editor
  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
  • Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • For further information about hospice care follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK. This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews.

Media enquiries

Please contact Suzanne Stevenson on 020 7520 8296 or by email at s.stevenson@hospiceuk.org. For out of hours media enquiries please call 07881 940 318.

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