A day in the life of a Hospice Head of Education

12th February 2016

Robert Standfield head of educationRobert Standfield is Head of Education at St. Richard’s Hospice in Worcester.

I have worked at St. Richard’s for just over four years and working in an environment where education and training is regarded as an essential element of providing high-quality care is a joy.

I have a special interest in Workforce and Organisational Development and my day is taken up with actions that promote hospice values whilst recognising the wider workforce agenda that will have a significant upon our future. Over the past 12 months national and local policy has meant that we have introduced new programmes of education including support to Registered Nurses around the revalidation process and mandatory training for all staff and some of our volunteers around Information Governance.

My day starts with the usual checking of emails. Working in education means that I subscribe to a wide range of e-bulletins related to such things as talent management, human resource management and topics such as effective appraisal and updates from agencies such as

education nicola wilderspinThis morning I have a meeting at the University of Worcester and their Palliative Care Special Interest Group. The range of topics covered included future workshops around the theory and science of bereavement and reviewing the research proposals that have been submitted to national bodies that fund research into palliative and end of life care.  As a fairly new ‘research active hospice’ we are keen to develop our research portfolio in partnership with a wide range of colleagues including the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). World Cancer Day is looming so we also discussed the showcase event which will be open to the public in our city library. The Hive is fairly unique as the university and public library are housed in the same building and students and the public share the resource.

Just before lunch I meet with representatives from a local Further Education College to start discussions about extending our Apprenticeship scheme into care as we have had good experiences with our Business and Administration Apprenticeships.

This afternoon is all about Information Governance and ensuring that we meet the standards set out in the NHS Information Governance Toolkit. Not the most exciting topic to be taught but a requirement that our NHS service commissioners insist we meet. Whilst the clinical staff access the e-learning modules our housekeeping and catering staff have a taught session that highlights our responsibilities for ensuring data security and confidentiality. Thank goodness YouTube has a selection of fun clips around the subject area!

As a hospice we continue to make significant investments in education and training both in time and money. As a consequence more of my time is being taken up with coaching, mentoring and advising staff about their career aspirations and the route the programmes they should be considering.

At the end of the day it is the more mundane task of checking that that the people who use our meeting rooms have switched everything off and that our facilities are secure.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.