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7 June 2024

Palliative Champions proving a success across Herefordshire

New St Michael's-led course to improve palliative care knowledge in nursing homes

New course to improve palliative care knowledge in nursing homes

Nursing staff across Herefordshire say a St Michael’s Hospice-led course to improve palliative and end-of-life care knowledge has boosted confidence, and will “make a lasting impression” on patients.

Various nursing homes around the county now have Palliative Champions on their books following completion of the course overseen by Karen Rees, the Hospice’s Care Home Sister.

More than half of Herefordshire’s care homes now have staff who have completed the Hospice’s Palliative Champions Course, with St Michael’s inviting others to sign up. Its aim is to help homes bring about positive changes to improve care and wellbeing for those with a palliative illness, as well as encouraging nursing staff to talk more with families about their wishes and any concerns they might have.

“We’re delighted to have had such a positive response to this course,” said Karen Rees, the St Michael’s Hospice Care Home Sister. “Those taking part have been so enthusiastic in wanting to improve care for their residents and families.

“We really encourage the individual care homes and Palliative Champions to suggest things they want to change. This can include sitting down with patients and having end-of-life conversations, exploring what they would like, and answering any questions they may have. But it’s also important to bring families into discussions, and invite them to talk about anything they might want to chat about.”

“When I heard that there was Palliative Champions training, I was over the moon.

“As someone who had previously worked in a labour ward, I found myself not sure what exactly to do when someone was terminally unwell, or end-of-life. I immediately took a keen interest in wanting to know how best to support a resident who was end-of-life, and their family.

“I learnt how to give holistic and person-centred care, and how to support families during this period. I learnt that even when a person was dying it was important to support them in achieving a dignified death.

“After the training, my confidence was boosted, and with the help of my colleagues I will definitely make a lasting impression to the lives of residents I nurse.”

Nandi Cheyne Moyo
Nurse at Broomy Hill Nursing Home in Hereford 

As well as Nandi at Broomy Hill, some of the first to complete the course and become Palliative Champions were Alina Nicoleta and Maria Pizarro, both Registered Nurses at Oaklands Nursing Home on Bodenham Road in Hereford, and Karmel Fowkes and Vickie Price at Martha Trust’s Sophie House.  

The Palliative Champions Course includes four sessions offering education on key topic areas; Principles of Palliative Care, Planning Ahead, Symptom Control, and Identifying Dying and Offering Support. These weekly sessions are delivered in 90-minute slots via Zoom by the Education team at St Michael’s in Bartestree.

Following completion of the course, Karen Rees will continue to support individuals and care homes.

For further information, or to take part in the course, just contact the Hospice’s Education team on 01432 851000, or email

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