End-of-Life Care for PDoC Patients

Next course run: 1st November 2022 

(Materials open for study any time Nov/Dec). Register interest now to be alerted to when available for purchase.

Course Description

Life-sustaining interventions can cease to be in the best interests of some patients in vegetative or minimally conscious states. For example, it may not be right to continue to provide Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration [CANH] even though a patient is medically stable and ‘not dying’ in the traditional sense. End-of-life care can pose challenges for staff who have hope for the patient improving, or who’ve cared for the patient for a long time, and for those working in a hospice if they are unfamiliar with PDoC. Some family members can also find the idea of stopping CANH very difficult and have lots of questions. The withdrawal of CANH needs careful preparation and clinical management.
This short course guides you through how to develop the best possible care for these patients, and their families. It also explores the best way of supporting staff. This course was developed in response to calls for more training from staff in hospices, rehabilitation centres and care homes. It has proved to be a useful resource for families too.

Next start date: 1st November 2022

Delivery: entirely online

Interactivity: All our courses have interactive elements (eg polls & quizzes).

Scheduled courses: When we run a scheduled course there is a cohort of students learning alongside one another who interact via the discussion board, exchange ideas about best practice and pose questions of each other and of the tutor.


Duration: 2 week (self-study materials, for completion at own pace)

Study time: 3 hours (or more with optional advanced learning activities)

Assessment: self-assessment quizzes & reflection (auto-generated certification of participation on completion).

Cost: £15 (gives individual access to online course materials for 2 months)

Students on placement: we offer 10 free enrolments for placement students. Email your request to Professor Jenny Kitzinger (KitzingerJ@Cardiff.ac.uk). Please specify the PDoC relevance of the placement you’ve done, are doing, or are about to do, and provide two sentences about why you’d like to join the course.

Centres taking on courses:  we can make special arrangements for centre managers/teams who wish to enrol 30+ staff. This can include being invoiced instead of staff paying individually. We can also organise bespoke courses for centres with the possibility of an in-person seminar discussion – contact us for details, costings & to discuss requirements.

Note: We make this course available to any centre, hospice (or family) that needs it immediately because they are discussing life-sustaining treatment decisions and end-of-life care options for an individual patient. Just get in touch and we can make it available outside scheduled course runs.

Note: You’ll need a computer & internet access to do the course – with a microphone to listen to audio & the usual software for playing Youtube clips etc. If organising this course from a workplace please check the technology and that there is no firewall block before booking.

Payments: Fees for our course are currently set simply to cover the software licences, website hosting and education technologist input. Students pay via our online paying system. However, if you are a centre wishing to buy 30+ places an invoice can be sent if you prefer. All receipts/invoices go to our educational technologist partners at GeckoSurfing.

Example of course content

  1. Introduction: Course welcome; Connecting learners
  2. Principles of palliative care; clinical guidelines
  3. Staff experiences
  4. Family experiences
  5. Support strategies
  6. Review: Reviewing learning and signing off