Quality End of Life Care for All (QELCA) at Strathcarron Hospice   

We started out QELCA journey in 2016 when two of our team became QELCA  facilitators. Since that time, over 120 Nurses, GPs, Healthcare Assistants and  Paramedics have spent a week with us experiencing the transformational mix of  classroom learning, practice placement and facilitated reflection, followed by Action  Learning Sets. More recently, another member of our team has become a QELCA  facilitator and we have plans to train another to ensure our QELCA offer is  sustainable. The Hospice team as a whole have grown in confidence in supporting  participants in their practice placements, and we have learned that the QELCA  process ‘takes a Hospice’ to be a success.

The QELCA course provides an opportunity for teams in our local area to spend time learning with us and reflecting on their own practice and ultimately gives them the confidence, knowledge and skills to continue to care for people who are approaching the end of life in their own familiar environments.
Over the years, QELCA participants have told us that as a result of attending the course, their confidence in supporting people approaching the end of life has grown. They feel able to recognise when someone is dying and make proactive plans to support patients and families and find out what is important to them. Staff report that instead of avoiding the subject of death, they feel able to discuss it openly with families, which means that important conversations can take place.

The feedback from a recent QELCA week with paramedics shows the depth of the experience:  

"A very comfortable and open environment to be in. ALL staff were so welcoming and willing to listen and teach".

"I have more confidence to have 'tender' conversations with patients and their families, using softer language...and also allowing more time to have these sensitive discussions".

"I would highly recommend QELCA to everyone".

Following the week-long QELCA course at the Hospice, participants attend action learnings sets where they have the opportunity to share their change projects with others, and explore ways to overcome any barriers they may encounter as they try to implement changes. A recent group of GPs who attended QELCA have shared some of their plans with us:


Being more intentional about picking up on cues and having conversations about Future Care Planning (FCP) – developing FCP Resources folder for patients and professionals.


Staff support:

Developing a group for social support for staff – to provide support for well-being and team connection. Checking in on staff, including reception and support colleagues.


Gold Standards Framework:

Revisiting these meetings, ensuring the right people are discussed, and checking on the structure and frequency of them. Linking with colleagues from across teams.