Dorset County Hospital has teamed up with a local hospice charity to improve care for patients nearing the end of their life.

The Weldmar Hospicecare Trust is working with the Dorchester hospital to run a programme of training days for nurses and healthcare assistants.

The charity will train up ‘End of Life Care Champions’, who will boast the knowledge and skills to ensure patients and their families have the best experience possible.

Education nurse facilitator Caroline Sweetland said: “The End of Life Care Champions will be studying all aspects of end of life care, including pain control, communication skills and care of patients who are dying and their families.

“The days will also include advice and support on how to disseminate the knowledge and skills amongst their work colleagues.

“In addition to the study days, Champions will spend a placement day in practice, shadowing a specialist in palliative care, further developing their skills and knowledge.”

Dorset County Hospital’s deputy director of nursing Tess Drabble added: “Our champions are really keen to make a difference and improve the care offered to patients who are approaching the end of their lives and make their final days as comfortable as possible.”