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Update on the forthcoming palliative and end of life care strategy

SG has committed to developing a new strategy for palliative and end of life care, taking a whole system, population and public health approach to development and delivery.

Leadership, Governance Structures and Membership

Kirsty Boyd (former Palliative Medicine Consultant, NHS Lothian, and Reader in Palliative Care Edinburgh University) took up her role as the SG National Clinical Lead in Autumn 2022. Kirsty is supported by a Clinical and Practice Advisory Group (CPAG) which provides specialist and practitioner expertise and experience in palliative care within acute hospitals, the community, and hospices for adults and children.

A Strategy Steering Group of around 30 stakeholders will oversee the development and delivery of the strategy, and has met in October 2022, December 2022, and February 2023 so far. A wider Palliative Care Reference Group is also being established (primarily email-based). There is also an SG Internal Contacts Group which aims to link palliative care to other relevant workstreams in SG.

Work to Date

A high-level statement of aims, principles, priorities and approach to developing the strategy has been produced. This paper, which continues to evolve, can be found here.

There is a strong commitment to developing a strategy which is evidence informed. With this in mind evidence is being gathered on:

  • Relevant policies, strategies and research
  • Current and projected palliative care needs
  • Specialist, health board, and health and social care partnership services and support for adults, and, babies, children and young people and their families.
  • User experience and outcomes

While the steering group develops the strategy over the course of 2023, work on key priorities will continue in parallel. One positive recent development has been the identification of funding by SG to sustain the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines through Health Improvement Scotland.

SG are planning to establish a webpage to host papers and updates relating to the development and delivery of the strategy. The Policy Team can be contacted via

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