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SPPC response to Health & Sport Committee inquiry

The SPPC has submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament Health & Sport Committee's call for written views in relation to palliative care.

The Health and Sport Committee is currently holding an inquiry into Palliative Care in Scotland, which intends to focus on three key areas:

Access to Palliative Care

What are the barriers to consistent access to Palliative Care and how can those barriers be overcome? When Palliative Care provision is based on needs, how can access to appropriate Palliative Care provision be assured across different conditions, locations (such as at home, or hospice) and prognoses? What are the benefits and potential drawbacks of having a named healthcare professional for each patient/family in receipt of Palliative Care?

The initial conversations about palliative and end of life care.

Is this the access point to the care pathway? When should it take place? Who with and what should be asked? What is the role of carers and families? Are heath and care professional adequately supported to hold these conversations?


The Committee has also agreed to undertake some focussed research into international comparisons of measurement of data used in palliative and end of life care including: What indicators are used to measure the access to and the quality of Palliative and end of life care in other countries? Which indicators have proven effective and why, based on international experiences and research?

The SPPC response:

  • outlines what it is as a society that we are trying to achieve in this field.
  • attempts to establish some terminological and conceptual clarity about palliative and end of life care
  • explores the role of conversations
  • assesses current access to palliative and end of life care in Scotland
  • identifies some of the barriers to access
  • proposes a series of actions for improving palliative and end of life care are proposed.

The full SPPC response is available here: SPPC response to Health and Sport Committee call for written views relating to palliative care.

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