May 21

Learning resources to support social care workers with end of life care

Posted: 13 May 2021

Caring for those at the end of life is a vital and at times difficult part of the role for many working in adult social care.

At Skills for Care we offer a range of support and resources to develop social care staff’s confidence and competence in managing end of life care.

As Dying Matters Awareness Week prompts discussion around the importance of planning for death, we’ve put together a round-up of some of our key learning resources to help social care staff and employers develop their knowledge and skills in providing end of life care.

What’s Dying Matters Awareness Week?

Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from 10-16 May and is a chance for individuals and organisations to have conversations about dying, death and bereavement.

The focus this year is on the importance of being in a good place to die. There’s no right or wrong way to die; it’s different for everyone.

This past year has put loss at the forefront of everyone’s awareness like never before, yet research released by Dying Matters found that just 13% of adults have spoken to a friend or relative about where they want to be when they die.

Talking about death can be understandably uncomfortable but Dying Matters Awareness Week encourages us not to shy away from these tough conversations so that individuals and their loved ones can ensure that final wishes are met.

The role of social care in end of life care

Supporting and caring for someone who’s approaching the end of their life can present many challenges and rewards to social care workers

People working in social care play an important role in the final moments in the lives of the people they care for.

But even for professionals who are faced with loss and bereavement on a regular basis, managing end of life care can still be difficult.

It’s important that social care workers who support those at the end of their life use the help and resources available to them, to help them to provide the best care and look after their own wellbeing when carrying out work which can take an emotional toll.

Social care employers and managers need to make sure their teams are fully equipped for providing effective end of life care.

End of life resources for the social care workforce

Skills for Care offers a range of tools to support and enable the learning and development of care workers who care for people in the last days of life.

Find out more about some of our key resources below:


‘End of life care core skills education and training framework’

The ‘End of life care core skills education and training framework’covers the core skills and knowledge which social care staff need to have in order to provide end of life care.

Social care managers can use these standards to identify the key training needs among their teams, and those involved in designing and commissioning training can use these standard to assess competence.

‘End of life care for all’ programme

 This eLearning module offers over 150 interactive sessions designed to help care workers who care for people in the last days of life, and to offer support for their families.

The learning path has been recently updated with support from Skills for Care and includes core and additional recommended e-learning sessions.

 ‘Bounce back boy’ training resource

Bounce back boy’ is based on the true story of a young man at the end of his life.

The resource has been created in a collaboration between Skills for Care, Royal College of Nursing, and Hospice UK and includes a film and a handbook.

Adult social care staff can use this resource to reflect on their own roles and responsibilities and consider how they can improve the end of life care which they provide. The handbook provides ideas and activities to encourage talking points, learning opportunities and key actions.

‘Working together to improve end of life care’ training resource

The purpose of this training resource is to promote a better understanding of how everyone can work together to provide better end of life care – from domiciliary workers to hospice workers, GPs, social workers, and anyone else involved in the care of individuals at the end of their life.

The resource focuses on improving awareness and knowledge of the different job roles involved in end of life care and how they can work together, through a mix of booklets and films.

Covid-19 end of life care support

Covid-19 has meant that everyone working across health and social care have found themselves working more regularly with people who are dying, including social care staff who aren’t specialists in end of life care.

We’ve been working to provide extra support for end of life care through the pandemic, and have adapted our common core principles to support those working with adults at the end of their life as well as including specific Covid-19 end of life care resources within our ‘End of life care’ supplement.

You can find out more about end of life care and all of the support and resources available on our website.


How to get involved in Dying Matters Awareness Week

There’s plenty you can do to get involved in Dying Matters Awareness Week to help develop you and your team’s ability to provide end of life care and to encourage the wider community to open up to having conversations around death.

You can:

  • make use of the Skills for Care resources on end of life care to help develop your knowledge and confidence on the issue
  • join the Dying Matters Movement
  • share your Dying Matters Awareness Week stories on social media using #DMAW21
  • find out more on the Dying Matters Awareness Week website.