Members of the training team from Patch met over the first weekend of August to prepare the rolling out of training on their new modular course for multi-professionals on treating children’s pain and providing palliative care. This training will be based on the soon to be released Bettercare Book the team has written focusing on an introduction to treating children’s pain and providing palliative care.

The writing and training team for this new project, funded by Discovery Health, is made up of a group of highly respected professionals with many years’ experience working in paediatric palliative care in South Africa and internationally. Members of the team attending the weekend workshop included Joan Marston, Global Ambassador ICPCN, Dr Michelle Meiring, Chair of PatchSA and Founding Director of PaedsPal in Cape Town, Dr Julia Ambler, Co-Founder and Deputy Director of Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children in Durban, Tracey Brand, Co-Founder and Director of Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children, Melissa Platt, Founder of Footprints 4 Sam, Tracy Rawlins, Education Officer for PatchSA and Sue Boucher, Communications and Training Consultant for PatchSA.

Bettercare Learning Programmes are a unique and tested way to provide training in healthcare within the country. Once the material has been developed, participants are able to buy a high-quality printed book from Bettercare or find the material online for free on their Learning Stations. The Bettercare method makes use of self-evaluation throughout the learning experience with participants taking a short self-quiz before and after studying each chapter in the book. This enables them to see their knowledge improve and address specific weaknesses.

Once the training material has been fully developed the team plan to roll out the first training modules in the Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, reaching a minimum of 200 healthcare professionals before May 2020. The beauty of the modular course under development will be its flexibility, where institutions requiring training in treating children’s pain and providing palliative care can design a course suited exclusively to their needs and time constraints. Trainers will offer half day workshops, full day workshops, training over a period of 3 or 5 days or monthly training days over a longer period of time.

We look forward to updating ehospice once training is underway. In the interim, should anyone wish to find out more or book a training session with the PatchSA team, please contact Sue Boucher on