Succession Planning In Children's Palliative Care Services


Succession Planning In Children's Palliative Care Services


Dickson G


Palliative Medicine




Palliative Therapy; Board Of Trustees; Child; Education; Family; Hospice; Human; Human Experiment; Humanism; Humanities; Humans; Intelligence; Leadership; Only Child; Organization; Palliative Care; Retirement; Skill; Staff; Work


The children's palliative care sector requires a specific set of knowledge and skills in its workforce. Maintaining high levels of competence and leadership can be challenging if staff move out of the sector, retire or several key people leave. Succession planning can been described as: "any effort designed to ensure the continued effective performance of an organisation by making provision for the development, replacement, and strategic application of key people over time." 1 We produced a guidance document which signposts organisations towards actions to take in building a sustainable workforce. Succession planning done successfully will promote continuity in leadership positions, increased retention and loyalty of staff. The guidance document helps provider organisations identify the risks to the organisation and the challenges facing them in future planning - then suggests some solutions. This Guide was produced with contributions from experts with a national and international perspective, including human resources professionals, higher education and statutory services. It was shared with all leaders in the sector including Chief Executives of Children's Hospice and Palliative Care organisations and put on the Together for Short Lives website The Guide was well received with good feedback from within the sector. Suggestions to activate included: * Gathering workforce intelligence for the whole workforce, including age, job descriptions and skills required * Match competence levels to job roles to identify gaps and strengths * Identify key posts and leadership positions * Explore creative solutions; e.g. partial retirement * Invest in time for Boards of trustees to discuss the plan and identify risks to their organisations These activities will ensure children's palliative care organisations will continue to deliver the best care and support to children and families so they continue to make the most of their precious time together.


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Citation List Month

May 2017 List


Dickson G, “Succession Planning In Children's Palliative Care Services,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 20, 2024,