STUDENT nurses are being given an insight into the work involved in caring for people at the end of their lives thanks to a Worcester hospice.

St Richard’s Hospice has launched the palliative care training programme, giving students at the University of Worcester an insight into the support offered to patients suffering from life-limiting conditions and their families.

A pilot course in May saw 15 third-year student nurses from the university specialising in adult and mental health learn about palliative care from the hospice’s team before spending a day on the wards putting what they had learned into practice.

The hospice’s community team manager Vanessa Gibson said the new scheme was an improvement on training previously offered by the charity.

“In the past, we had felt that the single day placements offered to students were sometimes insufficient for the level of need being expressed,” she said.

“Some of the students who spent a day with our clinical nurse specialists didn’t really know what they wanted to gain from the day and were unprepared for the emotional aspects of the experience.

“We were delighted that Worcester University were so enthusiastic about working with us to develop a new palliative care programme for students studying adult and mental health nursing.

“Following the success of this pilot, we are planning a further session in the autumn which will be offered to students studying adult, child or mental health nursing, with a view to holding sessions regularly in the future.”

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for more than 2,400 patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and their families every year.

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