Living and Dying Well in Care Homes | Engagement and Scoping Workshop

At the end of August 2019, we were joined by representatives from national and local organisations with a passion for good palliative and end of life care. They had come together to help us explore how we could make a positive difference to the palliative care received by people who lived in care homes.

We had a great turn out and mixture of representatives from organisations including (although not limited to):


We were brilliantly supported with facilitation on the day by colleagues from the Care Inspectorate.


During phase one of Living Well in Communities palliative and end of life care work we supported local testing to improve the identification and care coordination of people with palliative and end of life care needs. There have been some great learning and outputs from this work, in particular around the care home setting.  We are also aware of some of the wonderful resources and initiatives that exist, or are being developed and want to find out more about these and other areas of work.

We are currently in phase two of this work – scoping and understanding how we can take the learning from phase one, and from other areas of good practice, and spread them across Scotland. To achieve this we are exploring the potential of delivering an improvement collaborative. In an improvement collaborative we would work with staff, to understand the interventions/models of care that would help them to improve outcomes. Following this we would support them to: put these into practice, understand the difference they have made, embed and spread their learning.

At the moment we are seeking to understand the context, challenges and initiatives underway in care homes.  A key part of this is to explore how an improvement collaborative could work in practice. We recognise that it is important to be clear on our offer so that we can engage meaningfully with staff delivering care, residents, families, and carers (informal and formal).

You can find out further information about the background to this work on our website and by reading the blog post about our meeting with Care Inspectorate colleagues.

What have we found so far?

blog presentingPaul Baughan, GP and national clinical lead for palliative and end of life care, provided a great introduction to the workshop with an interactive ‘blockbusters’ presentation using data about care homes ( taken from the Scottish Care Home Census available from Information Services Division (ISD) website) to help set the scene and provide context for the workshop.

Following this we had good table top conversations on some of the themes that had emerged from engagements so far, getting feedback on what was important and was what was missing.  We are using this feedback, as well as other, to inform our work in phase two and will be looking to share this in the future.

Building the picture

The main focus of the workshop was a world café session, where attendees were asked to help us understand what we need to consider as we develop our approach and plan for this work. The topics and key points emerging were:



There was a good discussion highlighting the broad range of staff and organisations contributing to the care and support of residents, in particular identifying:

  • It won’t be possible to engage with everyone so we need to be clear on focus of the work to help prioritise who we reach out to.
  • There is a need to promote the stories of the good palliative and end of life care people are having in care homes to dispel the negative perceptions around these areas.


The group looked at some of the language used in relation to end of life care, with some interesting reflections on the subjective meaning to some of the terms. Some of the general reflections were:

  • Staff can be nervous about the associated language and what they are recording as “end of life” or “palliative”.
  • It is important to ensure that language is tailored to the audience and framed around the key things that is important to them.


Attendees provided valuable insights into what should be in and out of scope for the proposed work, including consideration on settings, change ideas and what areas that should be scoped further. Other areas included:

  • The important role of the Health and Social Care standards in framing this work.
  • The need for targeted exploration to understand the issues faced by different care home providers and also understand the challenges being faced by the workforce.

help hinderWhat will help or hinder our success?

There were interesting discussions highlighting that certain elements could be seen as either helping or hindering depending on how they were interpreted and implemented. Some of the key points were:

  • The role of leadership in supporting this work and giving and sustaining permission (empowering) staff.
  • The need to ensure a balance of adapting and adopting good practice that is responsive to local need but does not lose the essence of what it’s about.

Good practice

Good practice 

We were keen to find out about other initiatives that were making a positive difference, some of those that were highlighted were:

  • Developing staff understanding and skills in relation to palliative and end of life care (MacMillan Foundation).
  • Utilising technology for learning and peer support (Project Echo, Strathcarron Hospice).
  • Use of dedicated care home link with Advanced Nurse Practitioners/ Nurse Practitioner/District Nurses (Aberdeen City, East Lothian, Fife, Glasgow City, Western isles HSCPs).
  • Providing training and utilising tools to assess and respond to an individual’s palliative care needs (Glasgow City HSCP).
  • Anticipatory Care Planning questions in care homes (City of Edinburgh HSCP).

What did people think about the workshop?

“Great chance to network and find out what is working well in care homes in other areas, good to hear different views and find out more about what other organisations do”

Feedback was positive, with attendees enjoying the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals with an interest in palliative and end of life care. The workshop was interactive and allowed attendees to hear about existing work underway in care homes. However, it was felt that there is a need to be clearer about the objectives and overall outcomes this work is looking to achieve, and to ensure that the experiences and voices of care home staff and residents were at the core of this work moving forward.

Next steps

It is important get this work right and we want to invest time we want to work with partners to understand how we can make a positive difference to the palliative and end of life care experienced by care home residents.

We are reviewing all of the outputs from the workshop and our engagements so far and will use these to help us refine our focus and approach. An important aspect will be using this  intelligence to help us meaningfully engage with the key groups and people, including care home staff, residents, families, and carers (informal and formal).

Finally, we’d like to share a big thank you from the Living Well in Communities team to everyone who attended and contributed to the workshop.

LWiC care home team

Please visit our website for further information


Understanding the success factors in Care Co-ordination

Our local Palliative & End of Life Care (PEOLC) test partners came together on 8th November 2018 to exchange knowledge and understand the success factors for care co-ordination. The morning session provided an opportunity for the five health and social care partnership test sites to share the improvements in care co-ordination that they have been taking forward locally. Each site has approached this challenge in a different way, working with different population groups, in different settings and with a variety of different interventions.  However, the objective to improve the co-ordination of palliative and end of life care remains consistent across each area, with promising early outcomes now emerging from this work.



Test Sites

We have five main test sites involved in identifying those who would benefit from a palliative care approach:

  • Dundee
  • Fife
  • East Ayrshire
  • Renfrewshire
  • Glasgow


Experts from Marie Curie, Ayrshire Hospice, Care Inspectorate, University of Edinburgh and The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) were on hand to provide short stories and share current thinking to help with our understanding of Care co-ordination.

whos here today


The afternoon was a World Café format – a world café is a simple, effective and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue. It provides an opportunity to exchange and share knowledge. Test site leads led the table discussion and answer any questions in relation to their site and Care Co-ordination.

world caFE

Evaluation Comments

“This was a great day, what an opportunity to have a day with space to network, think and create for the future”

“Everyone’s opinion counted”

“Open environment to discuss palliative care with professionals in different areas”

“Rich conversations”

“Great opportunities to learn what is happening and being developed across Scotland and a chance to network and share ideas”

“Really valuable sharing and networking; very much stimulated ideas for us to test”

“Group discussions, listening to different ideas and realising that we are all wishing and working for the same outcome”


Key to good care co-ordination in PEOLC

Attendees tested out Mentimeter, a fun and interactive tool for presentations, to create a word cloud describing the key to good care co-ordination:


Closing comments from Paul and Sandra

Paul Baughan and Sandra Campbell (National Clinical Leads) provided some words from the day:

“There are many different components to good co-ordination of care at the end of life.   This gathering allowed those testing new ways of working to meet and share their progress with like-minded individuals and experts in the field of palliative care.  This knowledge exchange is mutually beneficial and has provided a renewed impetus for our five test sites to make progress with their change ideas.”

“It was an excellent day, with really engaging conversations and sharing of best practice… and great to hear about such good work across the country.”

Next Steps

Paul and Sandra are currently working on an evidence bundle for Care Co-ordination alongside the Evidence and Evaluation for Improvement Team (EEvIT), the first draft will be ready at the end of January. The evidence bundle will inform which interventions help people to die in their preferred place of death, which interventions help to decrease the percentage of hospital deaths, and the interventions that increase the percentage of deaths at home and in hospices.


For further information, please contact a member of our team at

Follow us on Twitter:@LWIC_QI, @turnersara99, @paulbaughan, @sandracampbellc65402031

The value and impact of Anticipatory Care Planning

The ALLIANCE came along to our recent national Anticipatory Care Planning launch event and spoke to some of the delegates on the personal and professional value and impact of ACP.

Continue reading “The value and impact of Anticipatory Care Planning”

Anticipatory Care Planning: Time to Make it Happen

acpdocThe latest Anticipatory Care Planning: Time To Make It Happen event took place on 16th November at the Royal College of Surgeons with participants from across the health and social care sector.

This was the second of three interactive workshops in which delegates learn about the emerging examples of good practice and help influence the future development of Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP) across Scotland.

It was another busy day comprising three plenaries, three breakout sessions, and four updates from the tests of change highlighted at the first meeting.

Welcome and Opening Remarks 

Diane Murray (Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government)
Dr Stuart Cumming (National Clinical Lead, Anticipatory Care Planning)

Janette Barrie (National Clinical Lead, Anticipatory Care Planning)
Sheila Steel (Associate Improvement Advisor, Anticipatory Care Planning)

Diane started proceedings with a personal story on the power of why, and the ways ACP matters to her. Stuart and Janette introduced the work so far, what’s progressed and looked to the future. All three providing a reminder that:

Anticipatory care is about people of all ages. Anticipatory care is everyone’s business.

Continue reading “Anticipatory Care Planning: Time to Make it Happen”

Discussions from the Scottish Care New Models of Care workshop


This post was written by Laura Dobie, the Living Well in Communities Knowledge and Information Skills Specialist. You can follow Laura on Twitter at @LauraKnowledge.

On Friday 21st October I went along to Scottish Care’s new models of care workshop. It was a really interesting day filled with discussions on the future of care delivery, which highlighted examples of innovation and good practice in care from across Scotland – and further afield.

Legislative and policy context

Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care, facilitated the workshop discussions and gave a summary of the myriad policy publications and legislation which are having an impact on the care sector:

There was also the uncertainty of Brexit, and the possible impact that it could have on staffing and funding. The National Living Wage implementation, NHS cost efficiencies, the reform of the care home contract, reform of care at home and housing support, reform of NHS boards and local government elections in May 2017 will all have an impact on the sector. Continue reading “Discussions from the Scottish Care New Models of Care workshop”

A Living Well in Communities Event: Behind The Scenes

This post was written by Sara Turner, the Living Well in Communities Admin Officer. You can follow Sara on Twitter @turnersara99.

The day has come.

It’s something you have been planning (so much planning…) for weeks, if not months and it’s finally here!

For me, there’s usually a dash of excitement as you jump out of bed. Sometimes it’s the sleepless night, tossing and turning, panicking that you are going to sleep through your 3 alarms, or that you’ve forgotten something and need to get to the venue to put your mind at rest.

You have been hawk-like, watching Eventbrite, monitoring numbers and answering queries, making sure those registered have included all the relevant details, but most importantly spelt their name correctly.

Continue reading “A Living Well in Communities Event: Behind The Scenes”