Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care: Update

Welcome to Update, a monthly roundup of news relevant to palliative care in Scotland, brought to you by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.


Health and Sport Committee Inquiry into Palliative Care

The Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee has published We need to talk about Palliative Care, the report of its inquiry into palliative care.

Report of the National Review of Primary Care Out of Hours Services

The Scottish Government has published a report of the independent Review of Primary Care Out of Hours Services Chaired by Prof Sir Lewis Ritchie.

Consultation on revised guidance for doctors on confidentiality

The General Medical Council (GMC) are currently running a public consultation on the revised draft of their guidance on confidentiality. The consultation runs from 25 November 2015 to 10 February 2016.

Consultation on overarching principles for the new Care Standards

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland are developing new National Care Standards for Scotland. They are currently consulting on draft overarching principles for the new standards. The deadline for responses is 10 December 2015. A website has been set up to provide further detail and an online survey.

Back to top


Palliative Care Guidelines available in app format

Sixteen of the NHSScotland palliative care guidelines are now available in app format providing offline access anywhere, any time. To download the app visit the Android or iPhone stores or visit via mobile knowledge on the Knowledge Network. The app is designed to be of benefit to healthcare professionals from any care setting who are involved in supporting people with palliative care needs.

The app is the product of a collaborative partnership between the Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies at the University of West of Scotland, SHOW NHS National Services Scotland, Dr David Gray and Dr Paul Baughan.

Digital Legacy Association

The Digital Legacy Association is a national (UK-wide) network dedicated in raising the quality of end of life care in all areas relating to digital asset and digital legacy. Their mission is to help ensure that everyone’s end of life wishes are met both in the real world and the digital realm. They have established a website to help healthcare professionals support the general public with digital end of life planning and digital legacy.

Back to top

Sharing current Scottish practice

This month the SPPC Sharing Scottish Practice blog features four posters displayed at the 2015 SPPC annual conference:

Back to top

Academic and Research

Childhood Bereavement data published

Recently published data suggests that last year an estimated 40,000 children and young people across the UK faced the death of a parent. The estimates, published by the Child Bereavement Network, are based on local authority age banded mortality statistics for 2014 from the Office for National Statistics and 2011 census data on the proportion of adults living with dependent children, as well as the average number of children by family size.

Back to top

Public and Patient Experience

Patient and family experiences of DNACPR discussions

A review was undertaken aiming to identify patient and family views on the communication of DNACPR decisions based on their experiences of DNACPR discussions. Themes revealed the importance of DNACPR discussions being held by someone trusted and the importance of family/ carer involvement, as well as perceived concerns about burdening family members. Timing of discussions revealed the difficulty of finding the ‘right time’ to discuss DNACPR. For certain patients earlier is preferable (e.g. in elderly patients while cognition is good) where as cancer patients prefer not to discuss DNACPR close to diagnosis or starting treatment. Discussions held at home or at the GP surgery were preferable to discussions held during acute admissions to hospital. Content of discussion highlighted the importance of discussing prognosis and quality of life with patients. Also that patients find discussing DNACPR in the context of a wider discussion around treatment escalation options acceptable. View the poster of this review which was displayed at the SPPC Annual Conference here: Patient and family experiences of DNACPR discussions: an integrative review of the literature

Back to top

Web News

UoG End of Life Studies Group Soundcloud

The University of Glasgow End of Life Studies Group has made available several audio recordings on Soundcloud. Recordings currently available include:

  • End of life care in Scottish hospitals: opportunities for wider engagement
  • Kirsty Boyd on the implications of research into the imminence of death of hospital inpatients
  • Community participation in palliative care: A conversation with Dr Devi Vijay and Dr Shahaduz Zaman

Back to top

Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care News

Grasping the Nettle

The SPPC has published Grasping the Nettle: What action can we take to improve palliative and end of life care in Scotland? The paper articulates the views and expertise of SPPC member organisations and stakeholders with the aim of supporting, enriching and informing the development of the forthcoming Scottish Government Strategic Framework for Action on Palliative and End of Life Care (SFA).

This work was led by a multi-disciplinary subgroup of the SPPC Council and developed in consultation with SPPC members and other relevant stakeholders.

Annual Conference presentations and posters

We were pleased to welcome over 200 delegates from across Scotland to our Annual Conference in September. Speaker presentations and PDFs of posters are now available on the SPPC website.

To Absent Friends Festival

To Absent Friends, Scotland's festival of storytelling and remembrance, drew to a close earlier this month, after an event-packed week that saw people across Scotland taking time out to remember and tell stories about loved ones who have died. A summary of the festival is available here, and a photo gallery showcasing just a few of the amazing variety of events that took place is available here: photo gallery. If you took part in the festival and would like to share your experiences, please get in touch.

To Absent Friends Festival: what do you think?

We are currently working to produce a paper evaluating and reflecting on this year’s To Absent Friends Festival. We have developed a very short questionnaire and would be grateful for your feedback – there are only five very quick questions to complete. Responses to the survey are anonymous.

Back to top

Other News

West Dunbartonshire team win Herald Society Award

West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s palliative care programme was awarded the Health and Social Care Integration prize in the recent Herald Society Awards. The category seeks to recognise examples of innovation and effectiveness in meeting the Scottish government’s health and social care integration agenda. The programme, which began in October 2011, looks to increase awareness of palliative care in West Dunbartonshire.

Scholarship opportunities

NHS Education for Scotland has announced that applications are invited for the General Nursing Council for Scotland (Education) Fund 1983 and the Margaret Callum Rodger Midwifery Award. The 2016-2017 scholarships are open to registered nurses and midwives resident and practising in Scotland. They are also welcoming applications from registered nurses within the Care Home Sector. More informaiton is available here: weblink.

The state of medical education and practice in the UK

The GMC have launched their fifth annual report on the state of medical education and practice in the UK. It draws on GMC and other data to set out what is happening in relation to the education and practice of doctors, and considers some of the current challenges facing the medical profession and the systems in which it works.

In the media

The SPPC does not undertake a comprehensive media monitoring service. Listed below are some of the stories relevant to palliative and end of life care that have appeared in the media over the last month. For more media coverage relating to palliative and end of life care, check out the eHospice website.

BBC News: Patients should have 'right' to end-of-life care, say MSPs

BBC News: Call for more palliative care for young people

Edinburgh Evening News: Jackie Husband: St Columba’s Hospice looks to future

The Herald: Hospitals begin to think more about palliative care

The Scotsman: Patching up the end-of-life problem

The Scotsman: Susan Lowes: End-of-life care symbolic of how we treat life

STV News: More than 10,000 Scots die without palliative care, report finds

STV News: Nearly half of over-50s 'not confident' over end of life care

Back to top

And Finally... each edition of Update we try to end with something a little bit thought-provoking or different. From June - November 2015 young people from across Scotland worked with the Learning and Engagement Team of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Together they created original stories, poems and compositions inspired by experiences of loss. This anthology of writing brings together the stories and poems, all of which were written by young people aged 11—16 years, in collaboration with writers and musicians.

Back to top

Courses and Events

Scottish Government’s National Dementia Dialogue 2015

3 December 2015, Edinburgh. Email for more information and to book.

St. Andrew’s Hospice Education Department Courses

Communication, Loss, Grief & Bereavement Skills Course

(An opportunity for accreditation through Work Based Learning)

This 2 day course is delivered over two consecutive weeks.

7 December & 14 December 2015

Introduction to Spirituality in Healthcare

(An opportunity for accreditation through Work Based Learning)

This 2 day course is delivered over two consecutive weeks.

11 December & 18 December 2015

For further information about any of the above St Andrew's Hospice courses please email Christine Reaoch or phone 01236 772017.

Classroom to care: Tailoring your message to suit your audience

7-8 December 2015, Surrey (National Association of Palliative Care Educators). More information is available here: weblink.

PhD/MD Student Conference: Research in the field of supportive/palliative and end of life care: developing the next generation of researchers

8 December 2015, University Of Nottingham. For further information contact Kathryn Almack or Glenys Caswell.

Together for Short Lives: Two-day Masterclass on understanding and meeting the needs of young people with life-shortening conditions

Leeds 11 December 2015 & 19 February 2016

Glasgow 18 December 2015 & 8 January 2016

London 14 January 2016 & 26 February 2016

Belfast 29 February 2016 & 11 March 2016

To book a place please email Laura Dowds.

Lymphoedema: Application of Core Skills & Knowledge

18 January 2016, Glasgow. For more information email or phone 0141 3302072.

Implementing the NICE Clinical Guideline on Care of the Dying Adult

Tuesday 26 January 2016, London. More information is available here: weblink. (A 20% discount is available by quoting ref: HCUK20SPPC when booking)

Primary care in Scotland: workforce, funding and delivery of care

27 January 2016, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Lymphoedema Specialist Practice

1 February 2016, Glasgow. For more information email or phone 0141 330 2972.

Lymphoedema Advanced Practice (University of Glasgow)

Course Commences 1 February 2016 with attendance in Glasgow dates 23– 24 March 2016. More information is available here: weblink.

Sudden Death & Breaking Bad News Meeting the Challenges of Supporting Traumatically Bereaved Children & Families

4 February 2016, Glasgow. For more information contact Sarah Maynard: 01494 569055.

Integrating health and social care in Scotland

2 March 2016. More information is available here: weblink.

Grief & Bereavement in Schools - 'Let's Talk About It' Conference

7 March 2016, Stirling. For more information contact Sarah Maynard: 01494 569055.

Rediscovering Holism: the future for Palliative Care

The 11th Palliative Care Congress, 9 - 11 March 2016, Glasgow. More information is available here: weblink

Highland Palliative Care Course: Living Until you Die - Crossing Boundaries in Palliative Care

15 & 16 March 2016, Inverness. Course details are available here: weblink

Priorities for palliative and end of life care in Scotland

2 June 2016, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Back to top

OSCR Registered Charity SC017979