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Welcome to our healthcare professionals, dedicated resource hub, and thank you for your interest in our “No conversation too tough” training programme.

We hope the resources prove of value and that you find what you’re looking for. If you have any questions, comments or would like to share your story with us, do get in touch. We’d love to hear from our you!

Thank you so much for joining us on our mission to support any family with a child, facing a terminal diagnosis and a life-changing future. Together we can make a positive difference to people’s lives.

ResourcesRegister interest

“RSF has developed a training programme specifically for health care professionals entitled “No Conversation Too Tough". This supports the Foundation’s wider mission to provide emotional support for families to prepare for the death of a parent."

Angela ClearyTraining Programme Lead

Angela continues; “…We know that there is a gap in provision of pre-bereavement support for families and we also recognise the crucial role played by nurses, in particular, in supporting both patients facing incurable illness and their families. This training programme was designed to equip health care professionals with the skills, knowledge and enhanced  confidence to assess the readiness of their patient to tackle those tough conversations, to manage those conversations sensitively and signpost to further support where necessary. The pilot programme has been evaluated independently by the University of Surrey and the findings demonstrate the relevance of the content to health care professionals and the improvements in practice achieved through the acquisition of practical skills, enhanced confidence and a toolkit of resources. The Foundation aims to launch this vital training programme nationally in the Autumn to reach and support as many health care professionals as possible working in palliative and cancer care teams. This will, in turn, help to drive a system change where parents facing death are fully supported by their clinical teams.”

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Recommendations from Steve Marshall PDF

Download a recommendations PDF for practice from a qualitative interview study with children and young people with a parent with a life-limiting illness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the programme for healthcare professionals called?

The title of the training programme for healthcare professionals is: “No Conversation Too Tough: Preparing Children for Parental Death”

Why did the Foundation develop this training programme?

As part of her legacy, Ruth Strauss was determined to support other families where a parent was facing end of life and one of the key areas identified was the need to train healthcare professionals, particularly Clinical Nurse Specialists and Palliative Care Nurses, to help parents hold conversations about death and dying with their children. The evidence demonstrates that approximately 112 children in the UK face the death of a parent every day.  Whilst several organisations offer support or bereavement and post-bereavement, there is a gap in provision of pre-bereavement support.  Evidence also indicates that children who hold open , honest communications during the pre-bereavement stage are better equipped to deal with grief and to flourish.

Is there a cost for the training?

No, the training is completely free of charge for delegates and is fully funded by the Foundation.

Can I just do the online element of the course?

The course comprises two elements: a pre-course e-learning programme and a one day face to face workshop.  In order to complete the course and receive a CPD accredited certificate, delegates need to complete both elements of the course.

How long will it take me to complete the pre-learning?

It should take approximately two hours to complete the pre-course learning.

Do I have to complete the pre-learning before I can attend the training day?

Yes – the pre-learning gives a good foundation and introduces theories and tools which can e put to practice on the training day.

Is there an option to attend the workshop online rather than face to face?

Yes – we acknowledge that it can be very difficult for delegates to attend a face to face event , particularly close to their home or work location.   We also have some delegates who work overseas who are interested in attending the programme so we will be offering one online workshop each month to complement the e-learning.

Can I access the online learning after I have completed the face to face event?

Yes – the online learning will be available for one year after you register and will prove to be a useful reference material to support your ongoing learning and clinical practice.

Do you provide CPD points?

Yes the programme attracts approximately 8 CPD points.

I have attended training about bereavement before – is this programme different?

This programme focuses on PRE- bereavement, the period between a poor prognosis and end of life which can last days, weeks , months or even years. Also , the programme specifically looks at the communications needed to support parents in holding difficult conversations with their children to prepare them for death and dying.

How long is the training day?

It is a full day with registration at 9.30 and completing by 4.30.

I can only make part of the training day, can I still attend?

No, we would encourage you to rebook to a date where you can attend the full day.  The day has been structured to give you valuable learning points and the opportunity to practise sensitive conversations in a safe place.

Where will the training days be held?

The training days will be held across the UK in major towns and cities to ensure all delegates have an opportunity to attend an event in their region.  Where requested, we will deliver training events for dedicated teams onsite at their Trust/Health Board.

I don’t live near any of your training locations, do you provide a grant to support my travel?

Yes, we are happy to pay for travel where required and with an individual assessment of the need.

I work abroad – can I book on to the training programme?

Yes – we are planning to hold an online training event once a month to allow those who are unable to attend in person the opportunity to complete the course.

Who delivers the training at the face to face event?

The training is delivered by two highly experienced facilitators, one with a Clinical Nurse Specialist background and one with expertise in child and family bereavement.

Is there a workbook provided for the programme?

Yes. The workbook accompanies the pre-course e-learning and is a place to complete tasks, jot down notes and reflections and to access key resources on the programme.

What is the community of practice?

It is a community of former delegates to continue discussions around the important topic of pre-bereavement, share experiences and best practice and to attend masterclasses hosted by experts in the field. Delegates will be invited to join the community of practice hosted on our website when they complete the course and will be able to access a hub of resources and a discussion forum.

Does RSF offer any other training courses for healthcare professionals?

Not currently but this may change in the future.

Is the course for cancer nurse specialists and palliative care nurses only or can other healthcare professionals join?

The target audience for the programme is CNS and palliative care nurses but not exclusively.  WE welcome healthcare professionals from all disciplines to join the programme.

I work with terminally ill children, is this training suitable for me?

The programme’s focus is to help children to communicate about the death of a parent.  However, there are topics which may be of value e.g. models of grief, holding sensitive conversations, family dynamics and wider learning which may be transferrable.

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