Leading end of life charity Marie Curie and multi-award-winning care provider Hallmark Care Homes are working together to implement the care group’s End of Life Care Strategy.
Through this unique collaboration Marie Curie will provide training in end of life awareness; communication; coping strategies; symptom management and care planning to 2,100 Hallmark employees. Meanwhile, Hallmark will support Marie Curie to hone its resources for a care home audience and in the progression of relevant research to improve end of life care outcomes for older people.
Hallmark approached Marie Curie to seek input on the development of their End of Life Care Strategy. To support the strategy Marie Curie is providing mentorship, clinical supervision and training in counselling and leadership support for the Hallmark Care Homes End of Life Care Champions.
Nationally care home workers have faced a stark increase in deaths during the pandemic. However, a trend had already been identified of an increasing number of deaths in a care home setting. A 2017 Public Health England review found that, between 2011 and 2017, the number of deaths in care homes increased by 20 per cent as the population continued to age and the need for residential care increased. With the Office of National Statistics predicting the number of persons aged 85+ to double between 2018 and 2043, that demand for residential care is expected to grow substantially. This highlights a need, prior to the events of 2020, for such expert support for people working with care home residents.
Welcoming the new partnership with Marie Curie, Care Quality Governance and Compliance Director at Hallmark Care Homes Julie Rayner said: “Hallmark is well-known for the quality of care provided to all residents who chose to make a Hallmark care home their home and this partnership with Marie Curie will ensure this outstanding care extends throughout a resident’s life journey. There are ground-breaking times ahead for Hallmark and Marie Curie as we work and share learning together.
“We are delighted to be to implementing our End of Life Care Strategy. Not only will our teams be benefitting from the high-quality training provided by Marie Curie, but our End of Life Care Champions will be mentored by Marie Curie nurses and their reflective practice will be supported by regular action learning sets, again being facilitated by the Marie Curie team.”
Eamon O’Kane, Deputy Director, Devolved Nations and National Programmes at Marie Curie, said: “Marie Curie’s priority is to improve the experience of dying, death and bereavement for all. Even before the pandemic the number of people dying was increasing annually. Covid-19 has increased the pressures on care workers to support both residents and families in very challenging circumstances. We commend Hallmark in their proactive efforts to change the experiences for their service users, relatives and their workforce.
“Care homes are supporting residents with end of life care needs now more than ever and evidence shows that over a third of people who die in care homes are temporary residents transferred for end of life care.
“Marie Curie have decades of experience to share in the provision of direct care at end of life and we know we can make greater impact by working with a wider network of stakeholders who are ideally placed to help people at end of life.”
The work with Marie Curie has been developing virtually over the last nine months and the planned timetable of training and knowledge exchange will be out to Hallmark employees by the end of March.
 Public Health England. 2017. The role of care homes in end of life care. Briefing 1 – Care home bed provision and potential end of life care need in people aged 75 or older in England.
2 CQC. 2019. The state of health care and adult social care in England, 2018/