NHS Lothian has received funding from Macmillan to pilot a Clinical Support Worker, working within their Community Specialist Palliative Care Team. This will be a full time post for 2 years. A job description has been finalised and they hope to have someone in post by the end of 2017. This is an innovative project as up until now, there hasn’t been a Clinical Support Worker within a palliative care team in Scotland – the hope is that the post holder will be able to complete simple assessments, visit non-complex patients, carry out support visits and help with advance care planning. For further information contact Janet.Dobie@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

The Edinburgh Dementia Training Partnership will be rolling out palliative and end of life training, specifically in relation to people with dementia in care homes, using the NHS Education Framework. Funding has been approved for this. The Edinburgh Dementia Training Partnership, led by the independent sector, also has representation from NHS and Local Authorities. Contact rene.rigby@scottishcare.org for further information.

In 2016, Lyndsay Cassidy, Programme Manager with Marie Curie UK led a Lothian Care Assistant Development Programme which ran as part of the Lothian Redesign Palliative Care work. This was only open to local authority care homes. The evaluation was excellent however staff felt that it did not deal with their issues and the conversations that ultimately take place at end of life. For more information contact lyndsay.cassidy@mariecurie.org.uk

The Community Palliative Care Team from the Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh supports 28 care homes (21 in south Edinburgh and 7 in Midlothian). The team’s aim is to ensure that older people in care homes receive improved quality and access to end of life care. Each care home has a dedicated community clinical nurse specialist who will: offer advice and support to residents with any terminal diagnosis; attend multi-disciplinary palliative care meetings; provide education for staff and facilitate reflective practice sessions. Care home staff have an increased knowledge of palliative care practice and procedures, and how their service can link together with other palliative care providers, to ensure a better journey for their residents. For further information contact Barbara.stevenson@mariecurie.org.uk

A very successful “Improving Adult Palliative and End of Life Care across All Sectors in Lothian” conference took place on 1st June 2017 with approximately 100 delegates. For further information on the event contact Neil.Wilson@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

St Columba’s Hospice has just appointed Hilary Gardner, Clinical Nurse Specialist to lead the palliative care ‘care home’ work – she will be exploring ECHO technology in the development of palliative care training. ECHO is a tele-mentoring project using ZOOM video and web-conferencing technology

University of Edinburgh have submitted a bid to work with 24 nursing care homes using ‘reflective debriefing sessions’ to develop palliative care culture in care homes that is being evaluated through the Family Perception of Care scale. The Family Perception of Care Scale aims to measure satisfaction with the quality of care given to residents dying in a care home during their last month of life.

The University is progressing the concept of a Teaching/Research-based Care Home Centre within City of Edinburgh. Further information available from rene.rigby@scottishcare.org

West Lothian

Dr Stewart Box, a GP from Linlithgow Group Medical Practice, West Lothian, has been commissioned to explore palliative care needs in care homes – he will be exploring ‘anticipatory care planning’ first.


A Care Home Team Manager in Midlothian, Lynne Paton, provides support, advice and education to all Midlothian care homes. She also manages 3 NHS nurses who have been employed to work within a Midlothian Council care home – Newbyres Village - Lynne provides additional support to this care home. For further information contact Lynne on - 07879481206

A new venture providing education and training by a video conferencing link to all Midlothian care homes, including those in the independent sector, is now fully operational. This has included education around palliative and end of life care. Marie Curie staff have been involved in some of these sessions.

East Lothian

St Columba’s Hospice and Queen Margaret University are involved in a pain assessment project with all care homes. Funding is being sought to develop this further.