Sixty FY2 doctors from across the Yorkshire Deanery attended a Bridging the Gap day on Palliative and End of Life Care this week. The day was organised and delivered by members of the Specialist Palliative Care Teams at CHFT, and Kirkwood and Overgate Hospices.
It is estimated that a junior doctor in their first year post-qualification will look after 40 patients at the end of their lives, and in most medical specialties doctors will continue to care for people approaching the end of life. It is therefore vital to ensure that doctors acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence to support these patients and their families appropriately.
Topics covered on the day included management of the last days of life, facilitating the supported discharge home from hospital of patients at the end of life, the importance of excellent communication skills, nutrition and hydration, and DNACPR decision-making. There was also the opportunity to observe simulated patient consultations covering difficult end of life issues.
The attendees contributed actively to the day, and early evaluations suggest that this was an extremely useful day for all. Plans are in place for the day to be repeated next year.