Care to Connect

A Palliative Care Education Initiative for Care Homes

Starting November 2021, Northern Ireland Hospice is delighted to introduce a bespoke palliative care educational programme for the care home sector in partnership with the Public Health Agency. 

Is there a need for palliative care in the care home sector?

Given the increasing proportion of deaths generally in care homes and estimates that 69%- 83% of all deaths have a terminal phase, in which palliative care is needed, there is a need to enable nursing staff in the care home sector to have the palliative care capabilities to meet this increase. 


Course Information

The course is designed for nurses blending face to face teaching with reflections from practice and will focus on equipping staff to manage the normal process of dying and when to recognise when more specialist intervention is required. We will examine the most common aspects of symptom management and explore how good communication skills can enhance care.

The proposed structure of teaching is not topic based; rather real-life practice based. This is aimed at expounding the ethos of palliative care, creating a mindset to create change for patients care rather than simply knowledge.

The style of teaching is to create a team for the long term, to not only be able to manage palliative care in the care home effectively, but to be an exemplar of good practice and to share this approach and ethos with others.

Each session is in a workshop format. This means group participation, reflection on experiences/clinical scenarios and role play is key, to create rapport and transparency. 

The course is made up of:

  • Two full days (09:00 – 17:00). The two days are four weeks apart
  • Two half days virtual training (via Zoom)
  • A rolling monthly follow-up programme providing 3 further follow up sessions per cohort. One of these sessions will be a placement opportunity providing immersive experiences in our adult hospice in-patient unit and community settings.
  • Provision of an individual toolkit aimed at promotion of self -development and life-long learning.
  • Opportunities provided for staff to ‘meet’ virtually and/or in person with their local Specialist Palliative Care Community Team.

There a set number of places running over 10 cohorts. If you are interested please speak to your Care Home Manager and ask them to nominate you.

The course is free to candidates but is sponsored by the Public Health Agency. Every effort must be made to attend and cancellations before the course starts need to be replaced.

Course Start Dates:

  • Cohort 1: Beginning 04th November 2021
  • Cohort 2: Beginning 30th November 2021
  • Cohort 3: Beginning 06th January 2021
  • Cohort 4: Beginning 01st February 2022
  • Cohort 5: Beginning 10th March 2022
  • Cohort 6: Beginning 06th April 2022
  • Cohort 7: Beginning 13th May 2022
  • Cohort 8: Beginning 07th June 2022
  • Cohort 9: Beginning 06th July 2022
  • Cohort 10: Beginning 04th August 2022


Book your place

If you are interested in booking a place on Care to Connect please speak to the manager of your care home and make sure they support your application.

Please email to get a booking form and return it completed with a supporting signature from your manager to the same address.

There are 10 cohorts of the course. While we will make every attempt to allocate you to your preferred date it cannot be guaranteed.

The places on the course are free to candidates but are paid for by the Department of Health so once booked we would expect attendance other than is exceptional circumstances. In such cases you must link with both NI Hospice and your Care Home Manager as soon as possible.