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One-of-a-kind Palliative Care course for secondary students launched during Palliative Care Week

Palliative Care eLearning Programme for Secondary Students launched during Palliative Care Week

St Francis Hospice Dublin and All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) have officially launched a new eLearning programme.

The one-of-a-kind course will teach secondary school pupils in Ireland about palliative care and the role of hospices in helping people with life limiting illnesses to achieve the best quality of life possible.

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The launch took place during Palliative Care Week, which ran from Sunday 11 to Saturday 17 September 2022.

3 - 5th Year Students of Santa Sabina school in Sutton with Barbara Sweeney, Head of Education, St Francis Hospice Dublin, and Yvonne McCahill, Communications Manager, All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care at the official launch of the Palliative Care eLearning package (St Francis Hospice Dublin and All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care)

The programme is an all-Ireland initiative to raise awareness and provide education about palliative care.

The e-learning package was piloted by staff and students of Santa Sabina school, Sutton, who were present for the highly anticipated launch.

All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) is a leading organisation with national and international influence driving excellence in palliative care.

St Francis Hospice, Raheny and Blanchardstown, provides specialist palliative services at no cost to the nearly 700,000 people who live in North Dublin and the surrounding counties.

In 2021, St Francis Hospice provided palliative care services to 1,944 patients and their families.

1 - 5th Year Students and Transition Year Coordinator, Niamh Ward of Santa Sabina school in Sutton with Barbara Sweeney, Head of Education, St Francis Hospice Dublin, at the official launch of the Palliative Care eLearning package (St Francis Hospice Dublin and All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC))

The package is available to all secondary schools on the island of Ireland through the AIIHPC’s Palliative Hub.

The beneficial programme was developed by Barbara Sweeney, Head of Education in St Francis Hospice Dublin, as part of a Fellowship she was awarded by AIIHPC.

Palliative Care Week aims to raise awareness of the difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

Director of AIIHPC Karen Charnley, welcomed the announcement, and said: “AIIHPC was delighted to support Barbara in the development of these excellent resources through the AIIHPC Educational Fellowship Awards.

“During Palliative Care Week, we are reminded of the importance of educating people of all ages about the huge benefits that palliative care can bring to people with life-limiting conditions. These resources will enable young people to learn about palliative care in a relatable way and we hope they will feel more comfortable having conversations about palliative care,” Ms Charnley said.

Pre Covid pandemic, St Francis Hospice Dublin provided outreach education sessions to secondary schools in the hospice's catchment area of North Dublin city and county.

Barbara's motivation for initiating the school outreach programme and for developing the eLearning package is rooted in her clinical experience over more than two decades as a palliative care nurse.

She met so many people who told her they would have accessed hospice services sooner if only they had known how much it could help them, or if only they hadn't been so fearful of the concept of hospice care.

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