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HELP for Care Homes

Formerly the Affiliated Care Home Partnership

Experts from St Christopher’s and Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice have joined together with the aim of providing high quality training in end of life care, forming Hospice Education and Learning Partnership (HELP).

We are delighted to be working with our HELP Care Home Partners to maintain and improve the quality of life for people living in the last phase of life in care homes.

How to become a HELP Care Home Partner

You can become a HELP Care Home Partner if you are in the South East London and Croydon area.

What our HELP Care Home Partners get

Our HELP Care Home Partners are entitled to HELP educational care home initiatives run by St Christopher’s and Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.

Partners have access to discounts on other events provided by HELP (see below).

In addition, all care homes within the boundaries of the HELP local CCGs will receive the usual clinical support that St Christopher’s and Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice always provided for care home residents.

View current HELP Care Home Partners (PDF)

All HELP Care Home Partners are entitled to the following:

HELP Care Home Partners are provided with support to set up and implement ECHO, a community of learning linking several care homes in each borough.

Using a hub-and-spoke model, care home staff are facilitated to present real cases for discussion and learning.

The ECHO team works closely with clinical nurse specialists and other members of the wider multidisciplinary team. The curricula for educational sessions are decided by care homes.

Upcoming ECHO sessions for HELP Care Home Partners

Croydon Residential Homes
Tuesday 3 November
Avoiding Hospital Admissions at the End of Life
Chris Bell, Consultant Geriatrician & Emma Hall, Consultant at St Christopher’s

Bromley Nursing & Residential Homes
Wednesday 11 November
Conflict Belief vs Residents’ Choice
Rob George, Medical Director, St Christopher’s

Lewisham & Lambeth Nursing Homes
Tuesday 17 November
Grief & Loss: Impact on Care Homes
Jenny Baulkwill, Bereavement Service, St Christopher’s

Croydon Nursing Homes
Thursday 19 November
Working with GPs
Dr Rachel Tundridge & Dr Anna Clarke

Lewisham & Lambeth Residential Homes
Tuesday 24 November
DOLS & Mental Capacity
Vincent Docherty, Head of Patient and Family Support, St Christopher’s


What is ECHO?

 Project ECHO is a ‘not for profit’ initiative which aims to bring together specialist teams and primary health care providers, such as care homes, to enable learning and support. The goal is to improve best practice and empower participants to make informed decisions when problem solving in their place of work. 

The heart of the Project ECHO model is its ‘hub’ (in this case St Christopher’s) and ‘spoke’ (care homes, GP’s, district nurses) knowledge sharing networks, using video conferencing to form communities of practice, supported by a trained facilitator and administrative/IT support from St Christopher’s. 

What are the benefits of participation? 

Allows staff to participate in training without leaving the care home, reducing lost working hours, travel time and travel costs 

  • Enables staff to build confidence whilst acquiring new skills and competencies 
  • Care homes can network and learn from one another – share ‘best practice’ and become a ‘community of practice’ 
  • Opportunity to present and discuss challenging case studies and receive feedback from a multidisciplinary team of specialists and peers 
  • Open access to ECHO training resources and recorded sessions 
  • Tailored to the learning requirements of your specific ‘community of practice’ 
  • Access to specialist knowledge 

What does a typical ECHO session look like?

A typical ECHO session may look like this: 

  • Introduction & reflection
  • 20 min PowerPoint presentation from the hub on the agreed topic followed by discussion 
  • 1-2 case presentations from spokes followed by discussion 
  • Summary 

Introduction to End of Life Care for Registered Nurses, Nursing Associates and Allied Health Professionals

  • Day one is FREE to HELP Care Home Partners and offers an introduction to the topic areas
  • Day two and three are advanced in depth sessions and are offered at a discount to HELP Care Home Partners
  • Courses are delivered online with a blend of virtual classrooms and self-guided on demand materials

View upcoming course dates  

Introduction to End of Life Care Course for Health and Social Care Assistants

  • Day one is FREE to HELP Care Home Partners and offers an introduction to the topic areas
  • Day two is an advanced in depth session and is offered at a discount to HELP Care Home Partners
  • Courses are delivered online with a blend of virtual classrooms and self-guided on demand materials

View upcoming course dates

We run a series of 2 hour virtual learning sessions for our HELP Care Home Partners on various topics related to care homes and end of life care as well as dementia care.

November session: Activity Coordinators Virtual Community of Practice

12 November 2020, 2pm to 4pm

Join us for opportunity be part of a Virtual Community of Practice for activity coordinators, to learn and grow together in a safe environment, equipping you through evidence based teaching to promote well being of your residents.

In the first session will explore together the scope of the community of practice looking at what is needed to create an environment that facilitates development and learning.

We will also provide an Introduction to Palliative care and explore the role of an activity coordinator in facilitating the wellbeing of residents at the end of their life.

Upcoming sessions:

  • 12 November 2020, 2pm to 4pm BOOK ONLINE
  • 10 December 2020
  • 7 January 2021
  • 4 February 2021
  • 4 March 2021

As part of the HELP for Care Homes free skills workshops will be facilitated three times a year.

Each workshop will focus on a particular topic and will take place on site at St Christopher’s.

Topics include challenging conversations, the use of syringe pumps and medications at end of life and dementia.

St Christopher’s Hospice facilitates Registered Managers Network meetings in conjunction with Skills for Care. These are available for all care homes, regardless of whether they are an HELP for Care Home Partner.

For HELP Care Home Partners, an additional three Registered Managers Network meetings will be available throughout the year. These sessions will focus on change management, leadership and key challenges around end of life care.

Next session: Registered Managers Network Meeting with Skills for Care

8 October 2020, 10am to 12 noon

An opportunity to meet other managers, network, share experience, support one another and learn together  This session will include and update from CQC with a chance to ask questions, as well as an update from Skills for Care and St Christopher’s.

Upcoming Registered Managers Networks sessions:

  • 8 October 2020, 10am to 12 noon BOOK ONLINE
  • 3 December 2020 (HELP Care Home Partners only)
  • 3 February 2021
  • 18 March 2021 (HELP Care Home Partners only)

HELP Care Home Partners have fully funded access to our webinars and Bite Size Virtual Learning Package for three months.


This course is for registered nursing staff that have support to verify expected deaths in their workplace. You can obtain a free code from to book online.


Steps to Success end of life care programme and toolkit is available on demand and can be requested by HELP Care Home Partners.

View the Steps End of Life Care Toolkit

HELP Care Home Partners are entitled to discounts on courses run by St Christopher’s Learning Hub.

Please view our range of accredited and non-accredited education and training related to the care of people in the last phase of life.

Wolfson bursaries for care home staff (funded by the Wolfson Foundation) are available to help care homes improve the quality of care given to residents, carers and families/loved ones. The Hospice UK website contains further information.

If you are interested in becoming a HELP Care Home Partner please contact

*Affiliation is not a Quality Mark but a term to describe care homes that are  working with St Christopher’s Hospice who provides education on end-of-life care and dementia. The new Affiliated Care Home Partner Service Level Agreement (SLA) replaces the previous SLA system.

HELP for Care Homes