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The development of education curricula for healthcare professionals working in paediatric palliative care in Europe

The work of this task force is now complete and the White paper on Core competencies for education in Paediatric Palliative Care can be download here

Background

Appropriate and ongoing education and training of staff is an essential component in the provision of care for children requiring palliative care.

The IMPaCCT standards for paediatric pallaitive care in Europe (2007) recommend:

  • All professionals and volunteers working in paediatric palliative care should receive comprehensive training and support
  • Palliative care training must be a core part of the curriculum for all paediatric healthcare professionals, as well as related sub-specialties
  • Each country should develop a national curriculum for all professionals working in paediatric palliative care.
  • There must be designated centres of excellence that can provide formal teaching and postgraduate training in all aspects of paediatric palliative care.

A dearth of information regarding education programmes and courses for healthcare professionals working in paediatric palliative care in Europe was the catalyst for this project. Paediatric palliative care as a speciality is at various stages of development throughout Europe and education programmes and courses in this small but highly specialised field of healthcare are also at different stages. Whilst courses are available in many European countries access to and content of these varies considerably.

Previous EAPC taskforce's have suggested that in order to ensure that education programmes meet the needs of those participating, it is essential that the programmes are linked to the heatlhcare needs of the population and the structure of the healthcare system. Therefore the those responsible for the development of educational programmes need to have a sound understanding of:

  • Paediatric palliative medicine and palliative care
  • Principles of adult learning
  • Organisational planning
  • Partnership between place of care and place of training
  • Awareness of the politics of healthcare delivery and education at the local level (EAPC Task Force on Nurse Education, 2004)
  • These issues were also taken into consideration in the development of the core curricula developed by the Paediatric palliative care education task force.


Summary

This project set out to explore the range of paediatric palliative care educational programmes available across Europe. Drawing on common themes and elements of these programmes a core curriculum was developed.


Work plan

  • Where possible education programmes provided across Europe for all healthcare professionals working with children with life-limiting conditions were identified
  • The work of previous EAPC task forces on education including: nurses, physicians, and psychologists was considered and, where relevant, utilised
  • Core components of curricula were identified
  • Colleagues throughout Europe were involved in the development  of these core competecies 

  
Aims and Objectives

  • Information on education programmes for healthcare professionals caring for children with life-limiting conditions requiring palliative care in different European countries was gathered.
  • Core components of education programmes provided for healthcare professionals caring for children with life-limiting conditions in Europe were identified
  • Core aspects for curricula were identified and a framework document for education for healthcare professionals working in paediatric palliative care was developed.

Chairs



Julie Ling,  Ireland 

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Julia Downing - UK


Members

Anna Garchakova - Belarus

Richard Hain - UK

Piera Lazzarin - Italy

Danai Papadatou - Greece

Matthias Schell - France

Chantal Wood - France
(Chair Steering committee) 

Marcello Orzalesi - Italy
Representative  (FMLDO)