ST CATHERINE’S GIVE A GIFT APPEAL: Diploma will set standard in end of life care

KIND: Margaret Hollinshead with St Catherine's Hospice patient Patricia McKie
KIND: Margaret Hollinshead with St Catherine's Hospice patient Patricia McKie
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A unique diploma designed to raise standards in end of life care delivered by St Catherine’s Hospice in partnership with Preston’s College is now recruiting its next students.

The first people to study the course, which was launched last year, will qualify in May and the next cohort of students are now being invited to apply.

The Give A Gift campaign, launched with the Lancashire Evening Post to celebrate the 30th anniversary of St Catherine’s, highlights 30 things the hospice wants to achieve in 2015. One of the ‘gifts’ on the list is to have 30 students enrolled on the course over the next 12 months.

The unique 12-month study programme – which begins again in May – is aimed at anyone working or volunteering in the health and social care sector, and will further develop knowledge and skills in end of life care and practices.

Margaret Hollinshead, a nursing assistant at St Catherine’s Hospice, is studying for her diploma qualification.

She said: “I was anxious beforehand about whether I would be able to do it as the academic side is always where I have struggled.

“But, after meeting with the course tutors I felt reassured that they would be there to help with any problems I came across so I decided to sign up and give it a go.”

Margaret said what she was learning on the course was re-enforcing all the practical skills and experience she has from working at the hospice.

“At St Catherine’s, we have a wealth of experience in palliative and end of life care. It is good to see that being shared further with other care professionals through this course.”

Sue Clayton, clinical educator at St Catherine’s Hospice who delivers the training along with lecturers from the college, said: “It is important to spread our skills and widen the reach of the hospice. This helps ensure peoples’ wishes and preferences are met wherever possible, and raises standards in end of life care.”

The hospice has also announced Britain’s Got Talent opera star and finalist Lucy Kay will be visiting there on Saturday February 28. Lucy,a headliner at the hospice’s Symphony at the Tower, will meet staff and patients

For more information about the Give A Gift campaign and how you can help visit www.lep.co.uk/giveagift email giveagift@stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 695290.