A team of care professionals who work at a specialist dementia care home in Plymouth have been recognised for delivering excellent end-of-life care by St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth, marking the fourth consecutive time staff at the home have been recognised for the excellent way they implement the charity’s focused Six Steps + programme.

The four colleagues who have taken on the mantle of Butterfly Lodge’s end-of-life champions are service manager Clare Sinclair, nurse and clinical lead Ivorine Ramkishun, senior care assistant Michelle Fletcher and care assistant Joanne Mason.

Clare Sinclair said: “Six Steps + is a really excellent programme because it incorporates all aspects of end-of-life care and equips us care professionals to initiate appropriate individualised care in the months that precede end-of-life, as well as making sure our residents’ wishes are respected right up to the end.

“Providing excellent end-of-life care is so important because it’s the last thing you can do for someone, and we want their passing to be dignified, pain-free and as ‘right’ as it can be for loved ones too.

“Six Steps + is an intensive course which covers so many of the potentially difficult aspects of caring for someone as they approach their final days, and their workshops address the challenge of providing high quality care to the frail elderly and the cognitively impaired.

“The programme requires you to learn how to recognise deterioration in a person’s overall condition which may signal end-of-life, and how to act promptly to get the right support in place – lots of useful elements of planning and implementation.

“It also encourages you to be open about acknowledging the realities of dying, the importance of communication – including appropriate vocabulary – and addresses the significance of respecting an individual’s last wishes.

“All four of us are all passionate advocates of delivering great end-of-life care, but there are always new things to learn and the regular three-monthly checks carried out by St Lukes’ as an ongoing part of our accreditation ensures we never lose focus.

“At Butterfly Lodge we now have a raft of end-of-life policies which are observed by all staff, and this helps us feel more confident in having the necessary discussions with residents, relatives and other healthcare professionals especially GPs.

“The training provided by St Lukes’ is thorough, person-centred, and has given us the confidence to work together in an honest and consistent way to ensure all our residents get the best possible end-of-live experience.

“We will maintain our involvement with the programme and cascade our learning down to the rest of our staff.”

The Butterfly Lodge team has already formulated a new ‘future wishes’ programme as part of their revised care planning system based on knowledge gained from the Six Steps + training, to ensure that residents’ wishes for their end-of-life are recorded and followed.

St Luke’s Hospice is an independent charity which provides specialist care and support to people in the region who have progressive life-limiting illnesses. Their Six Steps + programme is a pioneering hospice-accredited course that promotes the best end-of-life care outside the hospice environment.

They are dedicated to ensuring that everyone in their community is educated and informed when it comes to end of life care, with their education team engaging with the local community to train and empower individuals and organisations to work together to provide excellent care in all environments and across all services.

Butterfly Lodge is run by award-winning dementia care specialists Camelot Care who have other homes in Bridgwater, Wellington and Yeovil. See