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Scottish Network for Acute Palliative Care (SNAPC)

Welcome to the Scottish Network for Acute Palliative Care web page.

The Scottish Network for Acute Palliative Care (SNAPC) connects hospital palliative care teams across Scotland to share learning, provide support and facilitate collaboration on issues of common interest. It is part of the Building on the Best project.

Building a network:

The primary aim of the SNAPC network was to provide a means through which hospital palliative care teams can collaborate to improve palliative care in Scottish hospitals. To achieve this, the network aimed to:

As the threat of the corona virus was becoming evident and the NHS began to plan for the pandemic, it became obvious there was a place for the SNAPC network to be utilized to offer clinicians a platform to communicate, share local developments and plan coordinated responses.

At first, the SNAPC network was used for the acute teams, but it soon became apparent that the information that was being shared was relevant to other teams providing palliative care (in any sector). We also held senior management meetings for key SG, palliative and social care colleagues to share local frontline developments with decision & policy makers.

In addition, we have provided informal secretariat support to key leaders in palliative care and assisted in the coordination of workload, dissemination of information and meeting support.

Meetings initially focused on the development of COVID specific palliative care guidelines, visiting guidance and new models of care delivery.

Meetings were then opened up to any specialist palliative care practitioner using the SPPC’s mailing lists.

We then agreed to support Dr Paul Baughan’s community palliative care meeting, providing the zoom platform and administration for the meeting. This group includes primary care staff (GP’s with additional roles in palliative care; District Nurses and social care colleagues). This group is now also invited to the SNAPC & Partners meetings, thus ensuring an integrated approach that covers the patient’s pathway through primary, secondary and social care services.

Topics for discussion and information sharing is provided by the health and social care staff and by monitoring the issues of concern raised during meetings, therefore ensuring the topics are relevant and meaningful for the participants.

From mid-March to mid-May 2020 we have hosted 29 meetings:

There has been considerable work undertaken to build an inclusive network, and feedback has been very positive from all sectors valuing their input into the meetings and for the shared experience of learning together and supporting each other.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the sharing of information has led to a reduction on duplication of efforts devising local protocols, improved general knowledge of each other’s roles and issues in different health and social care areas, and led to innovative cross sector support (eg hospices supporting care homes during the pandemic).

It appears that the infection rate is now flattening and health and social care services are beginning to think about the future of ‘normal’ services resuming alongside the pandemic.

As services transition in the next phase, it is hoped that the network will sustain a cohesive approach to the sharing of information and development of services and the lasting impact will be a cohesive and better integrated health and social palliative care system.

Inaugural Meeting

The SNAPC held its first meeting on Thursday 16th January 2020, in Glasgow. Over 50 representatives of hospital specialist palliative care teams from all the mainland NHS boards attended. The meeting explored what the aims, activities and initial priorities of the network should be. In addition to planning the development of the network the day also featured plenty of networking in action. There were short presentations on current work from teams around the country. Recent work by Marie Curie and PATCH also featured. SPPC will produce a full report of the day, which will be available on this page.

As part of discussion participants were polled on key issues including:-

What do you hope is gained from the formation of SNAPC?

What should be the top priorities of the network? (ranking)

At the end of the day participants were asked to express in one word how they felt about the SNAPC:-

Embarking on a new venture:-

Slides from the day can be downloaded here.

A report and summary of the event can be accessed here

If you want to find out more or get involved in the network then please contact or call 0131 2722735.

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