Second Conversation Project – a training intervention to improve end of life care discussions

The aim of the Second Conversation Project is to pilot an educational intervention, which enables junior doctors to build their skills and confidence in navigating end of life care discussions.

What we are doing

Initial conversations around end of life care are usually led by a senior member of the medical team, such as the consultant or specialist registrar (ST3+ higher trainee). We propose that a second conversation is offered to patients and their advocates, so that they have a further opportunity to revisit what was discussed and explore any unanswered questions.

We suggest that this second conversation is led by a junior doctor, affording them the opportunity to build their skills and confidence in communicating end of life care issues.

This includes conversations around:

  • withdrawing or withholding treatment
  • changing the focus to best supportive care
  • discussing preferences regarding future care.

This approach has been chosen because of the potential mutual benefit to patients, families and doctors in training, and because it fulfils the need for a sustainable training intervention to help develop doctor's skills in communicating end of life care issues.

What we have produced

The aim of the Second Conversation Project is to pilot an educational intervention, which enables junior doctors to build their skills and confidence in navigating end of life care discussions.