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chapter 2 - National Federation of Voluntary Bodies

chapter 2 - National Federation of Voluntary Bodies

Informing Families

Informing Families Consultation and Research Report provision for professionals involved in breaking difficult news, and the need for improvements in the physical environments in which staff members communicate with families. A successful joint submission from the two projects was made to the SKILL Project, which is currently being run by the HSE to provide training for support staff and supervisory staff working in the health service. With support provided by the SKILL Project a pilot training course for support staff was run in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, dealing with the communications skills required when encountering families, service users and patients who have been given distressing or life-altering news. The joint submission was undertaken with the support of management and trade unions in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. One key aim of the training programme; “Communicating in life-changing and difficult circumstances”, was to provide support and acknowledgement of the vital role played by support staff such as porters, catering staff and any member of the team who comes in contact with family members who may be going through a confusing, shocking or distressing time. Further to the aim of an integrated approach to communications skills training, the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Project and the Informing Families Project organised a joint seminar which took place in April 2006. The aim of the seminar was to present the initial evidence gathered through research on both projects to an audience of key decision makers and service providers, in order to encourage the nationwide implementation of communications skill training for staff. Through sharing the knowledge and common aims of the two projects it is intended that the collaboration will leverage the work being undertaken on both projects to the maximum benefit possible, and ensure that the projects deliver outcomes effective on a national and integrated basis. The Right From the Start group is a team set up in the UK in 1994 with the specific focus of improving practice when families are told of their child’s additional needs. The group published a good practice template in 1996, updated in 2003, and have produced a range of resources to support practice development. Their work with the Department of Health in the UK on the implementation of improved practice has led to the development of an audit programme and training for trainers. Contact was made with this group in order to gain as much comparability in the research carried out here, with that done in the UK, to enhance the validity of the Irish research.At various stages in the research design the Right From the Start group were consulted regarding the methodology that had been used in the UK studies. 45 3. CONSULTATION AND RESEARCH STRATEGY

Informing Families Consultation and Research Report 46

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