The findings highlight the contributions of 50 individual staff in care homes and care at home services in four areas of Scotland. Staff took part in structured focus groups with research taking place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Highland and Dumfries and Galloway.
At the launch, Scottish Care’s Chief Executive, Dr Donald Macaskill, highlighted Scottish Care’s commitment to ensuring that the often unrecognised and undervalued contribution of social care staff in palliative and end of life care was given a greater prominence at both policy and practice levels.
He said the aim of the research was to ensure that everyone in Scotland was able to achieve a truly person centred end of life experience by being supported by staff who were properly resourced and supported. He reflected on the way in which the ‘tree that bends’ (an image from one of the workers to describe their role) was in danger of breaking unless front line care staff are adequately supported.
Speaking to The Herald, Dr Macaskill said: “As a society, we continue to struggle with having open conversations about this inevitable part of life, and often fail to see planning for a good death as an essential discussion to be had at an early stage with loved ones and professionals.”