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.


Specialist Palliative Care commissioning guidance published for England

Commissioned by NHS England, the 24/7 Models of Care Report is guidance aimed at supporting commissioning decisions for specialist level palliative care. It highlights a range of examples of how 24/7 access to care and 7 day services has been achieved across England.

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Older People in Acute Care Improvement Programme

The HIS Older People’s Acute Care team has created a series of 3 videos on delirium care designed to raise awareness of the importance of listening to family members. They can be used in a range of situations, for example at teaching sessions, to generate discussion as part of presentations and at conferences and exhibitions and to further engage a range of partners.

HIS seeks support in review of NHS Scotland palliative care guidelines

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is seeking expressions of interest to support the select review of the following NHSS palliative care guidelines: Choosing and changing opioids; Care in last days of life: Subcutaneous fluids; Seizures; Vomiting and nausea; Mouth care; Neuropathic pain; Constipation; Pruritis.

If you are interested in collaborating please get in touch with HIS indicating what topics you would potentially be willing to contribute to and in what capacity - development or peer review/proofing.

New Transition Resource

The Queen's Nursing Institute has published Transition from Children's to Adult Community Services Resource, a new resource for healthcare professionals, designed to facilitate a greater understanding of transition.

End of Life Care Core Skills Education and Training Framework for England

Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care have developed an End of Life Care Core Skills Education and Training Framework which aims to standardise and benchmark training and competences for health and social care workers providing end of life care.

NICE quality standard: Care of dying adults in the last days of life

NICE – England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – has published a new quality standard covering the clinical care of adults (aged 18 and over) who are dying, during the last 2 to 3 days of life.

Sharing Scottish Practice

The SPPC Annual Conference in 2016 featured 36 poster displays, sharing work and research underway across Scotland. Each month, our Sharing current Scottish Practice blog focuses on the content of a few of these posters. This month, we focus on:

The SPPC Sharing Current Scottish Practice blog provides an opportunity for people to share examples of current Scottish palliative care practice that might be of interest to the palliative care community more widely. If you know of work underway that might be relevant for sharing on our website, please get in touch.

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Academic and Research

Research Forum

The next meeting of the Scottish Palliative and End of Life Care research forum will take place on Thursday 11 May in Edinburgh. This will be a special meeting looking at the scoping review of Scottish palliative care research recently undertaken by researchers from Marie Curie, the University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian and the University of Glasgow. The review aimed to map key areas that are relevant to clinical practice, service development and policy. This free half day seminar will explore what palliative care research exists in Scotland, what gaps there are and how this can help inform and improve the reach and quality of palliative care.

Marie Curie and CSO fund two new research studies

Marie Curie and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (CSO) have announced the funding of two new research studies:

Professor Scott Murray at the University of Edinburgh will investigate the challenges involved in providing out of hours care and support services – such as helpline support and GP or nurse visits – to terminally ill patients in Scotland. The study will look at how such services are currently provided in Scotland and provide evidence to inform a proposed redesign that, it is hoped, will deliver a truly 24/7 care and support service for Scottish patients.

The second of the two studies, led by Professor Marie Fallon and Dr Barry Laird, will involve assessing the impact of a programme of exercise and nutrition on patients’ survival and quality of life. This study will recruit patients across Lothian and take place in St Columba's Hospice. The researchers believe that the trial has the potential to change clinical practice and improve quality of life for people with incurable diseases.

More information is available here: weblink.

Understanding the health economics of palliative and end of life care

A new Public Health England report Understanding the health economics of palliative and end of life care presents the findings of a review of the available literature on the costs and effectiveness of different initiatives and schemes designed to improve patients' and carers' experiences at the end of the patient’s life.

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Public and Patient Experience

Patient Reluctance to Discuss Pain: Understanding Stoicism, Stigma, and Other Contributing Factors

Some people are hesitant to disclose when they are experiencing pain. This paper reviews the available evidence to better understand the various factors that contribute to an unwillingness to disclose one’s pain, creates a conceptual model, and identifies relevant assessment measures that may be useful to practitioners. (John Cagle & Morgan Bunting, Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, Volume 13, 2017 - Issue 1.)

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Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care News

Death Awareness Week Scotland

Every year in May, Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief holds an Awareness Week, providing individuals and organisations with an opportunity to promote the positives of living in a society where people can be open about dying, death and bereavement. This year's Death Awareness Week will take place from 8-14 May. We have various activities planned for the week, including the launch of a brand new new resource. We are also keen to promote events being organised by other people - please get in touch if you are planning something. More information, including ideas of how to get involved, is available here: Death Awareness Week 2017.

New SPPC strategy published

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care has published Bringing People Together, a new organisational strategy which sets out our strategic priorities for the next three years. The strategy was developed by the SPPC Council together with SPPC members and other stakeholders between October 2016 and March 2017. It outlines four main strategic priorities that the SPPC will work towards between 2017 and 2020. A full copy of the strategy is available to download here: Bringing People Together,SPPC strategy 2017-2020.

Submission to Independent Review of Targets & Indicators

We have submitted a response to inform the Independent Review of Targets & Indicators being led by Sir Harry Burns. The paper explores some of the challenges and complexities involved in measuring the quality of patient and carer experiences towards the end of life. It proposes a two-tiered approach to future measurement of this area:

  • The introduction of a single, system-wide national survey of bereaved informal carers.
  • IJBs should be expected to use appropriate approaches at local level.
The full report can be accessed here: Measuring improvement: people’s experiences of deteriorating health, death, dying and bereavement

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Other News

Help shape Together for Short Lives strategy

Together for Short Lives are currently engaging with members, families, young people, professionals, service providers and those with an interest in children's palliative care to help them develop their strategy from 2018 onwards. They are seeking views via a short online survey.

The Dundas Medal

PATCH and the Royal College of Surgeons have established a new medal - The Dundas Medal for Improvements in Palliative Care related to the Hospital Setting. The closing date for applications is 12 July 2017.

Hospice UK and National Council of Palliative Care announce merger

The National Council for Palliative Care (which covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Hospice UK have announced that they are working towards the merger of the two organisations.

Nursing Standard and Marie Curie Survey
Nursing Standard and Marie Curie carried out a study among 996 UK-registered nurses and healthcare assistants. The results of the survey indicate that two thirds of nurses don’t have enough time to provide high quality care to patients at the end of their lives.

A Good Life survey

Community researchers, University of Stirling researchers and Age Scotland are working together to explore what makes a good life in later years. They are currently seeking the views of people in Scotland who are aged over 50 years via an online questionnaire.

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And Finally...

In each edition of Update we try to end with something a little bit thought-provoking or different. This month, what happens when you put a nursery inside a Care Home...?

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Courses and Events

SPPC Annual Conference

This year's Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care Annual Conference will take place on Wednesday 20 September 2017 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. More details will follow.

Safeguarding Adults with Incapacity

Organised by CPS Seminars Scotland, 28 April 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink

Palliative care in Scotland: Research into Practice

11 May 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Defining moments in children’s palliative care: Transforming the family experience

Organised by Together for Short Lifes, 10 & 11 May 2017, Birmingham. More information is available here: weblink.

Controlled Drugs: Safe Use, Prescribing and Management: Monitoring Adherence to the 2016 NICE Guidance

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. 11 May 2017, Birmingham. More information is available here: weblink or by emailing Nicki. A 20% discount is available by quoting ref: HCUK20SPPC when booking.

Continence Without Borders

Organised by the Association for Continence Advice. 22 - 23 May 2017, Belfast. More information is available here: weblink.

Paediatric Continence Workshop

23 May 2017, Belfast. More information is available here: weblink.

Change: The Health and Social Care Integration event

Organised by the ALLIANCE. 30 May 2017, Glasgow. More information is available here: weblink.

Palliative and end of life care in Scotland - commissioning, public awareness and delivering best practice

Organised by Scotland Policy Conferences. 25 May 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

7th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality

4-7 June 2017, Chicago. More information is available here: weblink.

Care Homes Conference for ALL care home staff

Organised by the University of Edinburgh. 6 June 2017. More information is available here: weblink.

The vision for a teaching/research-based Care Home

Organised by the University of Edinburgh. 7 June 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink

Death at the Margins of the State

Organised by the Centre for Death and Society. 9-10 June, Bath. More information is available here: weblink

Care of Dying Adults in the last days of life: Implementing the 2017 NICE National Quality Standard

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. 12 June 2017, London. More information is available here: weblink.

End of life issues in hospitals: Comparing Scotland, Denmark and New Zealand

21 June 2017, Glasgow. More information is available here: weblink.

Tayside Palliative Care National Conference 2017

22 June 2017, Dundee. More information is available here: weblink.

Transforming End of Life Care in Acute Hospitals

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. 12 July 2017, Manchester. More information is available here: weblink.

5th International Public Health & Palliative Care Conference

17-20 September 2017, Ottawa, Canada. More information is available here: weblink.

New Directions in Palliative Medicine: Finding Strength: Challenges and Opportunities for Patients with Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders.

Organised by Strathcarron Hospice. 28 & 29 September 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Marking 40 Years of Palliative Care

Organised by St Columba’s Hospice. 27 October 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Courses offered by St Columba’s Hospice

MSc in Palliative Care: Shadows & Horizons: Advancing Palliative Care Practice

Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care: Caring for the Patient & Family in Palliative Care

More information is available on the St Columba’s Hospice website.

Courses offered by St Margaret of Scotland Hospice

For more information about any of the courses below, please contact Margaret Donnelly, Programme Co-ordinator, St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, tel 0141 435 7017.

Introduction to Palliative Care

Starts 16 August 2017

Loss, Grief & Bereavement

Starts 13 September 2017

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