Hospice In Your Care Home (Practice Development Team)


Our training and education service the Practice Development Team (formerly Hospice in your Care Home), is able to visit care settings and is also offering support and various education sessions online to over 70 nursing and residential homes as well as other care settings in the Wigan Borough.


About the service

When the service first launched as Hospice in Your Care Home in 2015, it was commissioned to support nursing homes, with the aim of expanding to reach out to residential homes over time.

Care homes are an increasingly important setting for palliative and end of life care, with around 1 in 5 people in the UK spending their final days in a care home.

With the appropriate support and education, care home staff have been helped to provide care which respects the wishes of residents and/or the wishes of their loved ones.

The team consists of experienced registered nurses and health care assistants. It works with staff in diverse settings, to enhance the care of residents in the last few weeks and days of life - with the aim of promoting comfort and dignity.

Hospice staff have extensive experience in palliative and end of life care. One of our aims as an organisation is to share our skills in order to ensure as many people as possible in the Wigan and Leigh area can benefit from our expertise.


The Practice Development Team

In 2022 our award-winning team formerly known as Hospice in Your Care Home was renamed as the Practice Development team.

The team secured recurrent funding and is expanding to support more staff across primary, secondary, and tertiary care.


Where is the service available?

Before the pandemic the hospice was working with the following 14 nursing homes in Wigan Borough. It now works with 71 care settings across the Borough.

  • Appleby Court Nursing Home
  • Ashton View Care Home
  • Belong Atherton
  • Dean Wood Manor
  • Jah-Jireh
  • Richmond House
  • St George's Nursing home
  • Rosebridge Court
  • Shawcross Care Home
  • Westleigh Lodge Care Home
  • High Peak Lodge
  • Westwood Lodge

When the pandemic hit the team realised they had to work differently to continue to meet the needs of the care home workforce, and quickly developed an online programme of education and support. This has been offered free of charge to all residential and nursing homes in Wigan Borough.

Although the course was developed with care homes in mind, it has become increasingly apparent that it is transferrable to other care settings, and many other services have approached Hospice in your Care Home to request access to this support during the pandemic.

Redeployed staff have sometimes found themselves caring for dying patients for the first time, and have needed support with their learning needs, particularly in relation to recognising dying, communication skills, spirituality and symptom management. Such staff have included extra Care and Supported Living and learning disability teams, who are now working in partnership with the hospice team.

The content of the education programme was also amended in May 2020, to make it more relevant to the particular challenges being faced during the pandemic.



  • March 2020 Visits to care homes had to stop because of national restrictions and in order to keep residents, hospice staff and care home staff safe. Both the hospice and the care homes stopped admitting non-essential visitors
  • May 2020 Free online education and training offered to all 52 nursing and residential homes in Wigan Borough
  • May 2020 Free online education and training offered to Extra Care and supported living services - who began to access the training
  • Summer 2020 A learning need was identified by Greater Manchester Hospices (GM Hospices) for more education around dementia. Dementia was already integral to what the team were doing but they extended the programme and held additional evening sessions. These were accessed by district nurses and GPs as well as other partners.
  • September 2020 Free online education and training extended to the Learning Disability service
  • April 2021 All but 5 residential and nursing homes in the Borough access the service.
  • June 2021 The first virtual Hospice in your Care Home awards held to recognise the hard work and commitment of all partner care organisations since the pandemic began.
  • February 2022 The team is now working with 71 care settings
  • June 2022 The team has secured recurrent funding and is seeking to expand.

What does the service hope to achieve?

Hospice In Your Care Home works closely with staff to promote training based upon the most up-to-date research available and equip them with the practical skills and knowledge needed to provide sensitive, timely and compassionate end of life care.

Additionally, the team strive to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions made in the last few days of life by providing dedicated support and basic training in palliative and end of life care.

The service is not just about education – it’s about working alongside staff and role-modelling to demonstrate good practice. It is hoped Hospice in your Care Home will be resume their face to face support in care settings soon to continue this valuable work.

Please see the external review of Hospice In Your Care Home completed by Lancaster University.

Read more about the work our Hospice in your Care Home team is doing to promote ACPs in care settings in this article written by the team manager, Debbie Jones.

Please see our News section for articles about Advance Care Planning, the support given to Elmridge Court extra care and more.

What do we offer?

  • Support so staff can understand the principles of palliative and end of life care and integrate these into their everyday routine.
  • A formal education programme and training delivered through Zoom.
  • An urgent referral service if a care home feels they need support when caring for a dying patient.
  • Working with care homes on how to communicate in difficult or distressing situations, such as establishing their residents' preferences and wishes and developing a plan to achieve these (known as Advance Care Planning). This might include talking to GPs, hospital teams and other professionals to ensure all those involved in their care understand the resident's wishes for their end of life care.
  • Additional support for those important to the person who is dying.


Mark Lewis, Deputy Head of Operations at Elmridge Court, said: “I had some initial worries on how Advance Care Planning would be presented to vulnerable people or people feeling low.

“The hospice team came in a few weeks ago to talk about Advance care Plans (ACPs) and planning for the future, then they followed this up with another visit to support the process with individual residents, and so many people were interested and attended. The main reason for them doing it was that their wishes about dying at home would be recorded. So many people asked me ‘So, does this mean I’ll be able to die at home?’

“The level of engagement in that meeting showed me it was comfortable for the resident to talk about and it was so much better that they could make decisions now when they’re well, rather than trying to tackle it further down the line.”


What is the programme?

It is a 12-week rolling programme. Below you can see some of the topics we cover:

Week 1:

Day sessions - Definitions of Palliative Care
Evening Sessions - Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment

Week 2:

Day sessions - Promoting Dignity in EOLC
Evening Sessions - Providing Emotional & Psychological Support in EOLC

Week 3:

Day sessions - Communication Skills
Evening Sessions - Managing Catastrophic Haemorrhage

Week 4:

Day sessions - Advance Care Planning
Evening Sessions - Management of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators at the end of life


Additional sessions:

  • HCA Induction Training
  • HCA Syringe Pump Awareness
  • Syringe Pump Training


Andreea Sfrejea, Registered Manager for The Old Rectory and Norfolk House, reflects on what she has learnt from the online education and training sessions provided by Hospice in your Care Home.

Who is in charge of the resident's care?

The care settings has overall responsibility for the care delivered.


Is there a charge for this service?

The hospice is a registered charity, largely supported by voluntary funding, and all our services are provided at no cost to our service users.


When is the team available?

The team’s core hours are Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm, although they are extremely flexible if a specific need is identified and will offer training in the daytime and in the evenings and weekends. Bespoke sessions may also be arranged to meet the specific learning needs of individual teams/organisations.


Our Hospice In Your Care Home Awards

An awards ceremony is held every year when the hard work of staff both clinical and non-clinical is recognised and celebrated.

Email: hiych@wlh.org.uk if you have any enquiries.

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How can I get more information?

If you work for another hospice and would like more information about Hospice In Your Care Home please see the review by Lancaster University. If you require further information please contact the team on: hiych@wlh.org.uk

Our leaflet is available for download.

Hospice in Your Care Home was established following funding from Wigan and District Cancer Research Committee and from Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group and Wigan Council.