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The Lantern Model – A new contemporary Nursing Model for End of life Care.

by Marie Cooper – Project Lead for Celebrating Palliative Care Nursing &

Heather Richardson – JCE

How can this model support you and your organisation ?

There is no doubt that care homes are major providers of end-of-life care and are responsible for providing such care to a group of people whose conditions are often characterised by complexity and vulnerability. When residents survive into late old age, often living with dementia, frailty and a variety of other co-morbidities, even the best of nurses face significant challenge in their efforts to deliver high quality care. Such effort has been further compromised by the recent devastating pandemic and increasingly finite resources available to care homes in terms of funding and workforce.

Despite this backdrop we are aware of many nurses working in care homes who remain resolute in their ambitions to provide person-centred, effective care for their residents and their families and it is for them that we have created the Lantern Model for Nursing at the End of Life. We are impressed by their efforts and believe that the Lantern Model could support and augment them further. In so doing, the model helps the care home in which they work feel more confident about its role in end of life and to make any necessary improvements to get the best for residents, their families, the nursing team and the organisation.

Any nurses/care homes that adopt the model could expect the following:

  • A stronger sense of identity. The model helps nurses to understand their purpose and role and builds pride and job satisfaction
  • A stronger voice for nurses who can be confident in their articulation of their unique when engaging with other team members and external agencies or professionals 
  • Increased team coherence. Often staff in care homes come from a range of backgrounds with varying values and experience or death and dying. To have an explicit, shared understanding of what nursing is, and how is enacted in that particular setting for those who are dying will help ensure consistency of care for the person and their families
  • New guidance to underpin and inform educational and development agendas for staff. The model provides a rationale for competencies and job descriptions and endorses the value of self-development
  • Clarity about the professional opportunities, limits and boundaries of the nurse. The model acts as a reference for discussion on role expansion or modification
  • Additional support for accreditation programmes, evidence for the Care Quality Commission and more. The model is clear about what outcomes nurses can achieve and how when they work at their best.

At a strategic level the Model brings the end-of-life agenda into focus and shines a spotlight on how death and dying is core business for many care homes. It offers a new shared language and supports conversations within and beyond individual homes about the role of nurses and the sector in driving this important agenda forward.

At the bedside it can be used to help nursing staff engage with residents and their families about future plans for care and help them talk with other team members about how to enact the plans. Where skills and confidence are lacking the model can facilitate individual and team reflection; we are developing tools to support this.

The Lantern Model, developed in 2019, fills a gap in the articulation and practice of contemporary nursing at the end of life. It confirms the value of both the art and science of nursing and builds on a person-centred practice framework.  Comprising seven components, it draws in the all-important work of the individual nurse, care team and wider organisation to achieve positive outcomes of care for the resident and family.

We want care homes to test and refine the model and invite their participation.

To find out more…

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