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.


Clinical Leadership at Scottish Government

The following update has been provided by Scottish Government relating to clinical leadership for palliative and end of life care:

“Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) have recently appointed three clinical leads who have respective expertise in primary care, nursing and social care. We have been in discussion with HIS regarding securing clinical leadership support, and have agreed an arrangement whereby these three leads will also provide advice and support to Scottish Government, to assist in the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Action. This advice will complement the existing clinical support already available through the Chief Medical Officer’s Senior Medical Advisor on Palliative and End of Life Care. We look forward to welcoming them to the NIAG in the near future.

It is envisioned that this arrangement will not only provide a broad range of expertise from those involved in delivering palliative and end of life care, but will also strengthen the voice of expert independent clinicians in informing our work. We believe they will provide visible leadership as we move forward.”

The lead clinicians referred to above are:

  • Paul Baughan, Medical National Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care, HIS
  • Sandra Campbell, Nursing National Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care, HIS
  • Julie Marshall will be joining HIS soon as Palliative Care Social Services Advisor
  • Jeremy Keen, Chief Medical Officer’s Senior Medical Advisor on Palliative and End of Life Care (Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Highland Hospice)

Verification of Death

The Scottish Government has published a Director's Letter (DL (2017) 9) providing clarification of relevant professional issues and advice related to the involvement of registered healthcare professionals in the verification of death (VoD) in all circumstances. It revokes previous CNO/CMO guidance issued in 1995.

Feasibility study into the extension of free personal care to the under 65s

The Scottish Government is undertaking a feasibility study into extending free personal and nursing care to the under 65’s. As part of this, they are inviting any interested members of the public to email them relevant thoughts by Sunday 2 July 2017.

Scottish Parliament call for evidence - Technology and Innovation

As part of its inquiry into Technology and Innovation in the NHS, the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee have issued a general call for evidence. The Committee is seeking views on the Scottish Government’s approach to eHealth, including views on whether the Scottish Government’s draft strategy on digital health and social care adequately addresses the future requirements of the NHS and social care sector in Scotland. The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Friday 12 July 2017.

Scottish Parliament call for views: Draft Budget 2018-19.

The Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee has launched a call for views on the Draft Budget 2018-19. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 26 July 2017.

Scottish Parliament Inquiry: NHS Governance

The Health and Sport Committee has launched phase 2 of its inquiry into NHS Governance. Phase 2 will look at clinical governance and a call for views has been issued.The call for views is open until 9 August 2017 and responses should be emailed to the Health and Sport Committee.

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Anticipatory care planning toolkit launched

A new Toolkit for Anticipatory Care Planning has been launched by Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s ihub. The new toolkit includes guidance for health and social care professionals, advice for individuals and downloadable planning materials.

New animations from NHS Education Scotland

A new short animated film has recently been launched by NES for those who work in maternity services and may come into contact with parents who have experienced an intrauterine death. This joins other bereavement themed educational films which were released in 2016 and can all be found on the Support Around Death website. Topics include ‘Talking to children who are bereaved’ and ‘Discussing dying. NES plans to launch three further animations over the coming months - looking at: key ‘do’s and don’ts’ of how to talk to those who are bereaved; discussions about the withdrawal of active treatment within an intensive care setting; and how junior medical staff deal with situations where patients are approaching life’s end and where they are unable to provide cure.

Developing Leadership Programme for Nurses

RCN Scotland is making available a Developing Leadership Programme to help registered nurses to be effective role models and bring about positive changes whilst promoting a team approach that is inclusive, vibrant and supported by continuous learning. The two day course will run on Wednesday 25 October and Tuesday 7 November 2017. The programme has been developed for registered nurses at Level 5, or equivalent, and is suited for the NHS, independent, voluntary and third sector organisations. For more information, email, phone 0207 647 3485, or check out the website: Developing Leadership Programme.

NES Bereavement Workstream: Update

  • A capability based national training framework for medical students and doctors of all grades is now in its final stages of completion and is due to launch later in 2017.
  • NES is developing a toolkit of educational resources which can be used by individual health and social care professionals as well as training providers. This will include both the collation of pre-existing training materials and newly produced resources where gaps are evident. If you are aware of any bereavement related training resources which might be relevant to include within the educational toolkit or you are interested in helping to produce new materials please email the team at NES.
  • A practice-based small group learning module on bereavement is now available, covering topics including the death of a child, stillbirth, suicide, the impact of bereavement on professionals and theories of grief.
  • The NES bereavement team is currently working with the Death Certification Review Service to develop an online module to support the quality of completion of medical certificates of cause of death. The module is scheduled for launch in summer 2017.

Sharing Current Scottish Practice

Butterfly Service

The Butterfly Project, a project undertaken jointly by The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, St Vincent’s Hospice and Ardgowan Hospice, has been recognised and praised in Evidencing Genuine Co-production in the Third Sector, a report by the Scottish Third Sector Research Forum. The three hospices have also produced a short video explaining how they got together to address a common need identified in the three communities.

Poster Abstracts of the Month

The SPPC Annual Conference in 2016 featured 36 poster displays, sharing work and research underway across Scotland. Each month, our 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

Travel Scholarships

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has a number of travel scholarships available:

The closing date for applications is 19 September 2017.

NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme

The NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme is accepting outline applications to their commissioned work stream for the topic 'Opioids for the treatment of breathlessness in palliative care.' The deadline for applications is 28 September 2017.

Quality of Life Awards

The Brain Tumour Charity are calling for applications for research to improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with a brain tumour. Applications close on 1 September 2017.

Marie Curie Research Impact Report

Marie Curie has launched their 2015/2016 research impact report.

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Public and Patient Experience

Perspectives of older people living in long-term care facilities and of their family members toward advance care planning discussions: A systematic review and thematic synthesis

This review suggests that barriers to advance care planning (ACP) for older people living in long-term care (LTC) facilities are more related to health care professionals' willingness to initiate ACP conversations than to patients' and family members' willingness to be involved in such a process. In fact, the results of this review proposes that residents and their families rely on health care professionals' expertise and judgment and desire their involvement in end-of-life (EoL) care decision-making.”

A helpful summary of this, and many other articles is provided by Barry R Ashpole, updated weekly, and can be found on the website of the International Palliative Care Resource Center.

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Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care News

Making the Best of Hard Times: Further Speakers Announced!

The theme for this year’s Annual Conferences is Making the best of hard times, and we’re pleased to announce the latest addition to the programme:

Exploring the experience of serious illness. Havi Carel, Professor of Philosophy at Bristol University.

Using the symptom of breathlessness, of which she has personal experience, Havi will examine how we think about disease and illness more widely. How is illness experienced? What can the voices of experience tell us, and how should that influence how we work?

Havi joins a fantastic line-up of speakers:

  • Death and dying at the frontiers of medical possibility. Nazir Lone, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Critical Care, University of Edinburgh, Consultant in Critical Care, NHS Lothian
  • Speaking Up or Acting Out? On Advocacy, Marginalisation and Ethical Practice. Deborah Bowman, Professor of Medical Ethics and Law, St Georges University of London
  • Better Outcomes and Lower Costs? Jo Bowden, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, NHS Fife; Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • How is it for you? Exploring Realities and Practicalities Where Integration Meets Palliative Care. Diana Hekerem, Head of Strategic Commissioning Support at Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Sharing Knowledge, Sharing the Load. Dr Jeremy Keen, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Highland Hospice

Delegates will also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of parallel sessions, and there will be an extensive poster display and opportunities for networking. The conference will take place on Wednesday 20th September 2017 at Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh. More information and booking is available here: weblink.

Small Grants to support participation in To Absent Friends

We are pleased to announce that Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief is running two small grants schemes to support organisations wishing to participate in this year's To Absent Friends festival:

Small grants scheme for To Absent Friends Concerts: A small grants fund has been established to enable community music groups to put on To Absent Friends concerts. The maximum sum available through this programme is £350. The deadline for applications is 23 August 2017. Since we understand that a lot of planning may be required to put on a concert, we will assess each application as soon as possible after it has been submitted. Where an application is successful we aim to provide funding as quickly as possible, therefore there may be an advantage to getting your application in early.

Small grants schemes for organisations: This fund has been set up to support organisations to participate in To Absent Friends, with a particular focus on supporting small organisations to undertake local activities that provide public opportunities for storytelling and/or remembrance of people who have died. The maximum sum available through this programme is £250. The deadline for applications is 23 August 2017, and we will aim to notify applicants of their success by the end of August.

Awards Nomination

We are delighted to hear that we have received two nominations in this year's Good Funeral Awards: Death on the Fringe has been nominated in the ‘Best death related public engagement event' category, and Good Life, Good Death,Good Grief has been nominated in the ‘Most significant contribution to the understanding of death' category. The winners will be announced in September.

New member of staff joins the SPPC team

Robert Peacock will be joining the SPPC team in July, taking up the role of Development Manager for Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief. This new role has been funded by Scottish Government, and will support the expansion of our work across Scotland to promote more open and supportive behaviours around death, dying and loss.

To Absent Friends Community Supper in Edinburgh

The To Absent Friends Supper is a modern take on a timeless concept - getting together over food to remember people who have died. This November, the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care invites you to a community To Absent Friends Supper in Edinburgh. Share stories over a simple three course meal. The evening will be interspersed with entertainment from local artists, reflecting on loss through music, poetry and storytelling. 7pm, Tuesday 7 November, Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink

Death on the Fringe 2017

Death on the Fringe returns to Edinburgh this August, with a fantastic line-up:

For more information and to book tickets, check out the Death on the Fringe website.

Charter on Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care

The SPPC is pleased to have signed up to Voice of Volunteering – the Charter on Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care. Through this Charter, the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) and the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC) are working together to advocate for the support, recognition, promotion and development of volunteering in hospice and palliative care. You or your organisation can sign up to the charter here: Voice of Volunteering

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Other News

Hospice UK report on hospices and care homes

Hospice UK has published Hospice Care and Care Homes in Scotland, a briefing aiming to describe the work Scottish hospices do with care homes to widen access to quality end of life care. The report also makes a number of recommendations for expanding these partnerships.

Rebranding of CHAS

CHAS, previously called the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, has changed its name to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, retaining the acronym CHAS.

PATCH – Palliation and the Caring Hospital

PATCH is a relatively new charity which works to support 24/7 specialist palliative care for patients in hospital. The first edition of their newsletter is available here: PATCH newsletter.

Queen’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to:

  • Professor David Clark, who will receive an OBE for his dual services to education in Dumfries and Galloway and research into palliative care.
  • Professor Leo Martin Chairman of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice who will receive the MBE in in recognition of his services to Healthcare and Education.

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And Finally...

In each edition of Update we try to end with something a little bit thought-provoking or different...

What is different about death and grief in the digital age? In this episode of the Social Work Podcast, Carla Sofka and Jonathan Singer discuss the role of social media in how, why, where and when, who we grieve.

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Courses and Events

SPPC Annual Conference: Making the Best of Hard Times

Wednesday 20th September 2017, Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh. 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.

Rebel Rebel – how Bowie shone a spotlight on palliative and end of life care

A lecture by Mark Taubert, Clinical Director and Consultant Physician in Palliative Medicine at Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff. Thursday 17th August, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Pushing up the Daisies Presents… Is This It?

With Poet and Storyteller, Margot Henderson. A one-woman show that looks death in the face and tells it like it is, straight from the corpse’s mouth. Friday 18th August, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Doctors, dying and death since the nineteenth century

Prof David Clark in conversation with Mark Hazelwood, discussing David’s new book on the history of palliative medicine – To Comfort Always. Thursday 24th August, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Inaugural Scottish Care Lecture

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission will deliver the Lecture on the theme of ‘Human Rights in Social Care in Scotland.’ 31 August, Glasgow. 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.

Key Aspects of After Death Body Care

Organised by Pushing up the Daisies. 1 October 2017, Glasgow. More information is available here: weblink.

A Master Class on Complicated Grief

A 2-day master class with Professor Katherine Shear, Director of the Centre for Complicated Grief in New York, and Professor of Psychiatry in Social Work at Columbia University, 4 & 5 October, Glasgow. More information is available here: weblink.

Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Conference: People who care: relationships at the end of life

Organised by Marie Curie and the Palliative Care Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. 6 October, London. More information is available here: weblink

Developing Leadership Programme for Nurses

Organised by RCN Scotland. 25 October and 7 November 2017. 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.

To Absent Friends Community Supper

Organised by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care. 7 November, Edinburgh. A chance to share stories and memories of people who have died, with food and entertainment. More information is available here: weblink

Scottish Cancer Conference

Organised by Cancer Research UK. 20 November 2017, Edinburgh. (Details to follow.)

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