As well as providing training and support in East London we have, as many of you reading this will know, been also providing training to another Silver Dreams and on request to other services across England.  The feedback on this training programme, which has been led by one of our Trustees – Lesley Hall, has been great. However we are always striving to have an even bigger impact so we really influence!  Lesley shares her thoughts on training influencing practice . . . . . 

There is a real sense of satisfaction in running a training session and getting good feedback from participants both verbally and through the end of session evaluation forms. – but what has been done with the knowledge?  Have the participants discussed their own end of life wishes with anyone else; have they discussed with their clients and has anyone actually completed an Advance Decision (AD) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

I send out a questionnaire asking such questions 3 months after training – of course this means that an effort has to be made to complete and return either by email or post so the response rate is low – about 25%.  But the feedback is still good to get.

Of those I have had back recently all but one person had thought about an AD and some had discussed with family but only one person had gone on to make one. Another participant had specifically discussed both ADs and LPAs with her mother and step-father and intends to put both in place for herself.   A number had discussed with clients, friends and family and had also given details of CiDs information line.  One participant wrote on her post evaluation form ‘I am confident that the training received will be useful in due course, both personally and professionally’

All great news!

However I have continued to ponder how effective the training is as the numbers of ADs and LPAs being completed as a result of the training are low.  I’ve been discussing how we can have more of an impact with the team, and we’ve decided to add to our training programme.

So what are we doing next . . . . 

As a result of a request from some of our advocates (many of whom are older people) and the introduction by online Lasting Power of Attorney forms by the Office of Public Guardian we had already decided to extend the training to include a ½ day of filling out forms.

We are now though going to make it a full day and the second half of the day will be a drop-in clinic for local older people who wish to complete an AD or LPA.  This means those attending the training will have the opportunity to immediately following their training to help someone complete the paperwork and they will be doing this in a supportive environment as the trainer will still be present.  And the older person will get their completed AD and/or LPA, and they will know it has been completed correctly.

So I’m feeling much more confident our training will influence practice and change people’s behaviour.

Lesley Hall, Trustee