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SPPC response to BASRiS consultation

The SPPC has submitted a response to the Scottish Government's Consultation on Benefits Assistance Under Special Rules in Scotland (BASRiS).

Scottish Government consultation: definition of terminal illness

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on draft guidance for medical professionals, designed to support them to make clinical judgments relating to whether someone is ‘terminally ill’ according to the new definition of terminal illness that has been established for the purpose of assessment for eligibility for fast-tracked disability assistance.

More information is available here:

The closing date is 19th April 2019. You can respond to the draft guidance by following this link: Respond to consultation

SG Action Plan on Neurological Conditions

The SPPC has submitted a response to the Scottish Government's consultation on its draft National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions.

New community development project to support "compassionate communities" in Scotland

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (SPPC) is embarking on a new project, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support. Taking a community development approach, the project aims to support communities who are interested in taking local action to improve people’s experiences of death, dying, loss and care.

The project is part of the SPPC's ongoing Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief initiative, which promotes more open and supportive attitudes and behaviours relating to death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.

Later in 2019, the SPPC will issue an invitation to community groups and organisations to express an interest in being part of the project. A number of communities will be short-listed, and supported by the SPPC to work up more detailed applications identifying local priorities and activities to improve death, dying, loss and care in their community.

Following the application process, up to four communities will be selected to be part of the project, and to receive dedicated support from the SPPC for their local project, for a period of two years.

The project will build on learning from the international Compassionate Communities movement, and its design has been particularly influenced by work by the Groundswell Project in Australia, where a National Compassionate Communities Practice Forum (NCCF) has been established, following a community development model.

The project also aims to support Scottish communities to learn from more local knowledge and experience, for example from the award-winning Compassionate Inverclyde programme where the community has taken action to become more "compassionate, helpful and neighbourly".

The SPPC is currently recruiting an experienced Community Development practitioner to help establish, shape and manage the project. More information about the job vacancy is available here. The closing date is Monday 4th February 2019.

SPPC Position Paper on the Impacts of Brexit on Palliative and End of Life Care

Following desk research and engagement with our membership, SPPC has published a position paper on the potential impact of Brexit on palliative and end of life care in Scotland. A copy of the paper can be downloaded here.

The paper starts by acknowledging the uncertainties currently surrounding Brexit and describes its approach to conducting analysis in spite of this uncertainty. After providing some background on SPPC and palliative care in Scotland the paper describes current “non-Brexit” challenges in palliative care. The impact of Brexit on the key domains of workforce, scientific research, medicine supply and funding are then considered.

The paper contains the findings of a recent SPPC survey designed to capture the views of people who are involved in a professional capacity in providing care for people approaching the end of life in Scotland.

Based on its assessment of available evidence and information the paper concludes that Brexit will have a negative impact on palliative and end of life care. In all likelihood Brexit will significantly damage the care which people receive towards the end of life.

SPPC exists to improve palliative and end of life care in Scotland. It is not a role of SPPC to assess or to comment on the wider merits and demerits of Brexit. However, in terms of what is best for the care of people approaching the end of their lives in Scotland, SPPC concludes that it would be better to avoid Brexit.

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