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Shaping the future of palliative and end of life care

Five years on from the publication of the Scottish Government Strategic Framework for Action for Palliative and End of Life Care, it is important to take stock and consider what is next for palliative and end of life care in Scotland.

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care is currently gathering evidence, experience and ideas to help shape the future strategic direction of palliative and end of life care, serious illness, dying and bereavement in Scotland.

Read more about this here...

Grants available for Quality Improvement Projects in Acute Hospitals

A grants scheme has been launched to support improvements to palliative care in Acute Hospitals in Scotland. The grants scheme is part of the Building on the Best Project, which aims to improve palliative and end of life care on hospital wards in Scotland and in turn improve the experiences and outcomes of patients and their families.

Originally launched in January, the grants process was paused due to covid and has now been relaunched with a new closing date of Mon 14 September 2020. Grant applications are invited from any acute clinical area that can demonstrate a need for improvement in the care being offered to patients who are experiencing a deterioration in their health and facing an uncertain outcome.

More information about the grants scheme is available here: Building on the Best grants

A Conversation with Jason Leitch

Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government, will be joining a meeting of SPPC members and stakeholders on the afternoon of Tuesday 12th May. Jason will be answering questions and engaging in discussion on recent experiences and key issues for palliative and end of life care. If you are a member or stakeholder of SPPC who would like to participate, and have not already received a notification about the meeting then please get in touch.

COVID-19 - information for the public

SPPC has published information for people in Scotland who may be worried that they, or someone they care about, is at increased risk of getting seriously ill and potentially dying from COVID-19.

The new webpages aim to answer questions people might have about:

  • What to expect if someone is in an 'increased' or 'high' risk category.
  • Care and treatment available for people at home, hospital and in care homes.
  • How decisions are made about care and treatment.
  • Plans people can make if they’re worried about becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
  • How a friend or family member can help someone who is very ill (and potentially dying) from COVID-19.
  • What happens after someone dies.
Thanks to the clinicians, members of public and others who provided advice and opinion on this content. The new information can be accessed here: COVID-19 information - hoping for the best, planning for the worst

SPPC response to COVID-19

In recent weeks the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care has re-aligned its work to focus on supporting good palliative and end of life care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more details...

We are supporting health and social care professionals by

  • Running regular zoom meetings for clinicians. Through these meetings, hospital staff and community healthcare staff keep abreast of the latest national developments, and share with each other local developments. These meetings are extremely well-attended despite the work pressures being faced by clinicians, demonstrating their value as a conduit for information sharing and peer support.
  • Supporting the development and updating of new Scottish Palliative Care guidelines relating to COVID-19, and guidelines for pharmacists.
  • Supporting and encouraging information sharing and co-operation between Scottish Government, special health boards and the various different sectors involved in palliative and end of life care - hospitals, social care, community healthcare, and hospices.
  • Curating the latest official guidance relating to palliative care and COVID-19 and making it available on the SPPC website and in regular e-bulletins to professionals.

We are supporting communities and individuals by:

  • publishing public-facing information for people in Scotland who may be worried that they, or someone they care about, is at increased risk of getting seriously ill and potentially dying from COVID-19.
  • supporting public figures and the media to address common worries and misunderstandings relating to palliative and end of life care and COVID-19.
  • publishing an online learning module for informal carers who want to know more about how to support others through difficult times associated with ill health, dying and bereavement.
  • making available 'compassionate communities' grants to support communities in their work to reduce isolation and stay connected during this period of social distancing.
  • promoting and acknowledging some of the innovative work being done by communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through our website and promoting Compassionate Communities week.
  • Bringing together key people from relevant Scottish charities to provide peer support and share information about charity responses to COVID-19.

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