17 July 2022

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Making a difference to people facing the end of life

The Lantern Model programme is bringing together individual nurses, nurse managers, professional development leads and chief nurses

Lantern Model Flower

For the last few months, something’s been happening in palliative care. Something positive, practical and very progressive.

Since its launch in April 2022, our Lantern Model Programme has been bringing together individual nurses, nurse managers, professional development leads and chief nurses – all of them united in one goal: making a real difference to people facing the end of life.

On one level, it’s a simple offer. Members have access to regular webinars with expert speakers (all available online if you can’t make the live event) and bitesize learning resources from international experts as well as the Lantern community of practice and online discussion groups where you can share your aspirations, challenges and progress with like-minded professionals. There’s also an extensive range of digital tools available.

Exceptional quality

Where the Lantern Model Programme really stands out from the crowd, and you don’t need to take our word for it, is the exceptional quality of the speakers, the generosity of members in sharing their knowledge and experience, the holistic approach, standout tools and resources as well as the chance to help shape the future of palliative care nursing for individuals, teams, whole organisations and internationally (we’ve attracted members from all over the world).

Helen Way, Lead Nurse, Palliative Care, Velindre Hospital in Cardiff, was one of the 30 Pioneering Nurses we identified in 2020, the International Year of the Nurse, to celebrate and champion for their role in driving palliative care forward and shaping end of life care at a local, national and international level.

“When St Christopher’s said it was developing a programme around its Lantern Model which acknowledges new treatments, fresh societal and ethical considerations and an understanding of the organisational challenges nurses can face, I wanted to be part of it.”

In fact, Helen’s interest went beyond the personal. She secured funding for 15 nurses of different levels of experience and from various departments. She operates as a kind of mentor figure for all of them, monitoring progress via a dedicated WhatsApp group and ensuring her manager colleagues give the nurses the necessary time either to attend the webinars and community of practice sessions live or to catch up on them.

Helen is delighted with the programme and the impact it’s having on her colleagues and herself.

“I bumped into one of the nurses, who works in out-patients, the day after the most recent session about the role of the nurse as coach. I was so pleased when she told me how much it had inspired her and reignited her passion for patient-centred care.”

The quality of the sessions and speakers is absolutely excellent, including internationally renowned experts.

Helen Way

Programme highlights

In terms of the programme’s highlights, Helen particularly values the right blend of theory and practice, the quality of speakers and the overall sense that the programme is run by people who ‘get’ palliative care nursing and all its challenges.

“The quality of the sessions and speakers is absolutely excellent, including internationally renowned experts. Then the community of practice is such a good platform for following up to share our experience and plans for putting theory into practice. It’s also a great place to celebrate the value of nursing and remind yourself of why you do the job as well as lift your eyes to see what else is going in other hospitals and hospices. Everyone has commented on the quality of the content, including the resources which I have been downloading and sharing with the team.”

In Hastings, Clinical Services Director Evelyn Prodger has developed her hospice’s ‘Nursing St Michael’s Way’ ethos and she says that the Lantern Model has been a massive influence in that process.

Evelyn adds: “I really like that the ethos is all about putting the patient at the centre and it is specifically focused on holistic palliative care in an organisational context, something no previous model has done.”  

Evelyn would urge anyone interested in further developing palliative care nursing to join the programme now.

“It’s so exciting to be part of it first time round. Being in from this early stage means we have the greatest benefit as we are shaping the future and are getting to work with the people who actually created the model.

“It’s such a unique opportunity to be part of a new and exciting palliative care focused programme. It sums up the essence of nursing and what we all want to be and gives us the chance to use a credible framework rooted in practice to support us to be the best nurses we possibly can be for us, our colleagues and of course the patients, families and carers. Also – it’s a great group of people to do it with.”

It’s such a unique opportunity to be part of a new and exciting palliative care focused programme

Evelyn Prodger

Helen Way has just one regret about the programme. “I wish I could have signed up more of our nurses to the Lantern Model Programme.”

For busy nurses, there’s the added bonus that all the webinars are available to watch at a convenient time and the community of practice and chat function on the online community mean communication with fellow professionals is available at all times.

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