Care Homes

The Care Home Project Team

The Care Home Project Team was set up in October 2008. The team works to empower staff in care homes to adopt a greater palliative care approach in their care of very frail older people at the end of their life.

The values of the team are…

  • Inspire innovation
  • Empower others to succeed
  • Re-awaken a culture of caring
  • Encourage relationship-based care
  • Challenge perceptions of death and dying in frail older people in care homes

Care Homes Research and Training information

Care Home Project Team Awards

The Care Home Project Team work across five Clinical Commission Groups:



Gill Early and Sue Wiggins


Anna Butt, Lilette Denton, Sharon Scott, Gill Early, Sue Wiggins, Jean Levy, Fran Conway, Helen Scott and Judith Coleman


Barbara Kenyon and Evie Weston


Stella Whitehouse

Across all areas

Deborah Mellish – Coordinate My Care (CMC)
Judith Coleman – Sustainability Initiative
Dan Bassoo – National Minimum Data Set Compliance and Service Level Agreements in Care Homes

For further details contact:

Dovile Milaseviciene / Deborah Mellish
PA to Care Home Project Team
Tel: 0208 768 4731
Fax: 0208 776 5798
Julie Kinley
Nurse Consultant for Care Homes
Tel: 0208 768 4727

“In life, you try your best to hold tight to your dignity; in death, sometimes others have to hold onto it for you.”


The aim of the Care Home Project Team is to empower care home staff to adopt a greater palliative care approach. Palliative care is not just about the care of people with cancer in last few weeks and days. It is for all people who suffer from advanced, incurable, progressive disease – diseases such as dementia, stroke, heart failure and chronic obstructive airways disease.

The Care Home Project Team (CHPT) currently consists of 10.2 FTEs (full time equivalent). It has grown to this number over the last 9 years. The Care Home Project Team covers five local Clinical Commissioning Groups (a population of: 1,418,889). We believe that when empowering staff in care homes through a practice development initiative, it is important to use high (intense) facilitation where a practice development nurse specialist visits the care home regularly to role model and support staff. The combined Care Home Project Team have a practice development, clinical, education, research, audit and evaluation role.

The length of stay for residents in UK nursing care homes is averaged at one year with many frail older people dying within 6 months of admission. The majority of staff in nursing care homes have little formal training – let alone training in relation to the last year of life. There is an enormous need to up-skill staff in nursing care homes in order that they feel more confident to meet the specific palliative care needs of frail older people and their families.

The End of Life Care Strategy in England & Wales (2008) highlights the importance of tools as a system to promote higher quality end of life care in various settings such as the The Gold Standards Framework. The Care Home Project Team have realised that the improvements and on-going development will not be continued without some sort of ongoing plan to counteract specific challenges for care homes i.e. staff turnover; lack of a learning culture. To counteract this the team have developed a sustainability initiative.

“Dying with dignity is…..dying in the presence of people who know how to drop the professional role mask and relate to others simply and richly as a human being”

[David Roy, Ethics & Aging. 1988]