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SPPC Annual Conference 2023

The SPPC Annual Conference 2023 took place at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh on Wednesday 22 November 2023.  You can view a programme for the event here 

Electronic versions of all the posters on display at the conference have been included in the SPPC Poster Parade and can be viewed here


Harvey Max Chochinov 

(via live video link to reduce emissions)

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and a Senior Scientist and CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute.

His research has extensively examined palliative and end-of-life care experiences for patients and their families. His more than 300 career publications have broached diverse topics such as depression, quality-of-life, suicide, vulnerability, spirituality, and existential distress towards end-of-life. He has also led a large program of research targeting issues related to dignity within the healthcare setting, which includes the development and study of Dignity Therapy.  He is the co-founder of the Canadian Virtual Hospice and co-editor of The Handbook of Psychiatry in Palliative Medicine (Oxford University Press).  His latest book is entitled Dignity in Care: The Human Side of Medicine, published by Oxford University Press. He has been the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Canadian Medical Association’s highest recognition, the FNG Starr Award. He is an Order of Manitoba recipient and an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 2020 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Check out Harvey's presentation here

Erica Borgstrom

Professor Erica Borgstrom is a Professor of Medical Anthropology at The Open University (OU), where she specialises in death studies and leads Open Thanatology. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Her research predominately examines, often using ethnographic methods, how palliative and end of life care are practiced and structured. As such, her work juxtaposes policy, practice, and people’s everyday experiences. She is an internationally recognised leader in this field and contributes to a range of research and teaching in this area. Based on the ethnographic findings of her research, she has produced several films and animations, including with OpenLearn and the BBC.

Outside of the OU, Prof Borgstrom is co-editor in chief of Mortality (an international, interdisciplinary journal of death studies), co-editor of the book series Death and Culture (published by Bristol University Press), and a council member for the Association for the Study of Death and Society.

Check out Erica's presentation here

Kirsty Cartin

Kirsty Cartin is currently the manager of Rashielee Care Home, Erskine.

A career care home nurse, having worked in the sector for over 20 years, Kirsty is passionate about unleashing the potential of care homes as places where residents are supported to live well and die well.

Kirsty is currently undertaking the Queens Nurse Leadership Development Programme and regularly challenges the perception of care homes through her twitter account @Justacarehomeg1


Aileen Collier

Dr Aileen Collier holds a joint appointment with the Research Centre for Palliative Care Death and Dying (RePaDD) Flinders University and the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) as Associate Professor in Palliative Care and Aged Care Nursing. 

She has worked as a specialist palliative care nurse in a diverse range of settings and in numerous countries. Her research program is focused on safety, quality and equity of palliative care.

Aileen is also passionate about building research capacity in palliative and end-of-life care. Her research interests and teaching philosophy undergirds a commitment to her practical work, with moral and pragmatic questions always being anchored to clinical 'realities'. She is interdisciplinary in inclination and is an advocate of research that brings together diverse disciplines, clinicians, patients, families and communities in response to ‘wicked’ problems.  When not at work you’ll find Aileen out in the field or on the trail with her horses.

Check out Aileen's pleanary session here

Check out Aileen's Workshop C presentation here

Jane Douglas

Dr Jane Douglas QN RN LLB MSc PhD, Dip H/SW is currently working for her own consultancy as an Independent Nurse Advisor and is a visiting lecturer with Queen Margaret University.

Jane has had a varied and diverse nursing career and was Principal Assistant with Scottish Borders Council and was the strategic lead and lead commissioner for older people living with dementia, and the lead commissioner. She then become Chief Executive for a registered charity in the Scottish Borders, where she led on a new design and development for small care houses to support people who are living with dementia and led the organisation to achieve Investors in People silver accreditation along with winning the Scottish Care Award for Care Home Provider of the Year, 2019 & 2020.  In 2019 Jane was awarded the Queen’s Nurse title. Jane follows a rights-based approach to care, support and leadership based around Self-determination Theory. 

Nancy Preston

Professor Nancy Preston is Co-Director of the International Observatory on End-of-Life Care and Professor of Supportive and Palliative Care at Lancaster University.

Her research focusses on integrating palliative care into all aspects of health care, including non-cancer settings such as care homes. She also conducts research into decision making at the end of life.

She has been involved in several EU studies about palliative care including a five-year study on the use of palliative sedation across Europe.

She has edited four books and published over 150 journal articles.

She is the Section Editor for BMC Palliative Care.

Check out Nancy's presentation here

Katherine Sleeman

Professor Katherine Sleeman is the Laing Galazka Chair in Palliative Care, at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College London, and an Honorary Consultant in Palliative Medicine at King's College Hospital NHS Trust.

Katherine's research uses a variety of methods, particularly routine data analysis, and focuses on the intersection between palliative care and policy. She leads the Marie Curie Better End of Life programme, and from January 2024 will be the Director of the new NIHR Policy Research Unit for palliative and end of life care. In 2019 Katherine received the inaugural Women in Palliative Care award from the European Association of Palliative Care, and in 2020 she received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship to strengthen public and policy engagement in palliative care.

Laura Green

Dr Laura Green is Programme Director of the Bachelors and Integrated Masters in Nursing at the University of Manchester, and a lecturer specialising in palliative and end of life care. In the past she has lectured in palliative care at the University of Bradford and worked as Clinical Academic Research Fellow for Marie Curie Hospice Bradford.

Her clinical experience is as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care, and a nurse working in the community and the hospice settings. Her doctoral research is an ethnography of dying older people in an acute hospital ward in the UK. She is co-editor of “Collaborative Practice in Palliative Care”, and co-author of “End-of-Life Care in Dementia”. She has published a number of research and opinion pieces relating to contemporary palliative care, and writes a monthly ‘Research Roundup’ for the International Journal of Palliative Nursing. 

She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Check out Laura's presentation here

Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan is a Senior Healthcare Chaplain for NHS Tayside, overseeing education and reflective practice for the Department of Spiritual Care. He is a Honorary Clinical Teaching Fellow for the University of Dundee, a pastoral supervisor, and involved in National Training for Vales-Based Reflective Practice (VBRP). 

Having worked in pastoral care of various kinds over the last 20 years, Patrick has spent a majority of last seven years working in palliative care for the NHS. This has covered acute, specialist palliative units, and the community. Since 2021 he has also conducted a joint project with Tayside's MND services exploring the efficacy of embedded pastoral/chaplaincy support for core MND offerings. Patrick is planning to co-publish on the above experience for 2024. Further research and service evaluation is also underway on Tayside's approach to VBRP-influenced training, education, and staff support developed post-Covid. 

All of Patrick's work is saturated by a passion for human story and the benefits of exploring and using the narratives we live and hear. The hope is to recognise in these the significant and meaningful assets needed for impactful practice and fuller lives.  

Check out Patrick's presentation here

Donnacha O'Ceallaigh

Donnacha O'Ceallaigh has worked on the National Care Experience Programme in HIQA – Ireland’s health and social care regulator - since 2016, when the programme implemented the first national survey of inpatient care in Ireland. Between 2016 and 2022, he primarily worked on the information governance of the programme, ensuring its compliance with data protection legislation as it expanded from one to seven national surveys. Since 2022, he has managed the implementation of the inaugural National End of Life Survey. Following the completion of a Masters of Science in Equality Studies in 2015, he is currently completing an additional Masters of Science in Healthcare Ethics and Law.

Check out Donnacha's Workshop C presentation here


Rebecca Patterson

Rebecca Patterson is Director of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, an alliance working to make Scotland a place where everyone can help when someone is caring, dying or grieving.  Rebecca is interested in practical initiatives that increase opportunities, skills, knowledge and confidence around death, dying, loss and care within communities.  She has been involved in various related work including the To Absent Friends Festival, Death on the Fridge, the It takes a Village exhibition, the Bereavement Charter Mark for Employers, the Truacanta Project and the End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone (EASE) public education course.



Check out Rebecca and Caroline's Workshop D presentation here



Caroline Gibb

Caroline Gibb is the Community Development Lead at Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.  She managed the compassionate communities initiative The Truacanta Project from 2019 - 2023 and has been involved in developing and delivering the End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone (EASE) public education course since its launch, which includes training and supporting EASE facilitators to deliver the course to communities across Scotland.  Caroline is an experienced trainer and facilitator with a background in community development and volunteer support.  Most recently she has delivered presentations and workshops at the Public Health and Palliative Care International Conference in Bruges in October 2023, and at the Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief Conference in December 2023.


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