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.


Dementia Strategy Published

The Scottish Government has published Scotland's National Dementia Strategy 2017-2020.

Funeral Costs Plan

The Scottish Government has published its Funeral Costs Plan, a ten point action plan to tackle funeral poverty.

National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan

The Scottish Government has published the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan - Part 1 – a framework for improving workforce planning across NHS Scotland.

Inquiry into NHS Governance

The Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee launched Phase 2 of its inquiry into NHS Governance. Phase 2 will look at clinical governance.

Back to top


SPICT for all

Edinburgh University has published SPICT-4ALL, a version of SPICT 2017 designed to use less ‘medical’ language and be of use to more people. SPICT-4ALL aims to make it easier for everyone to recognise and talk about signs that a person’s overall health may be declining so that those people and their carers get better coordinated care and support whether they are at home, living in a care home or in hospital.

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

A video is available of the recent Marie Curie/University of Glasgow seminar exploring challenges and successes in delivering end of life care in hospitals.

NEoLCIN webinar resources available

The National End of Life Care Intelligence Network (NEoLCIN) have made available videos and slides from a series of three webinars focusing on end of life care topics:

  • An introduction to the new Atlas of Variation for End of Life Care
  • A focus on End of Life Care in Care Homes
  • PHE and NHS England Joint Webinar Learning Disabilities and End of Life Care

Sharing Current Scottish Practice

Poster Abstracts of the Month

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

The SPPC Sharing 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

Back to top

Academic and Research

The experiences of older people in Scotland's Prisons

HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland has published Who Cares? The Lived Experience Of Older Prisoners In Scotland's Prisons.

Research into specialist palliative care provision in Scotland

A newly published study from the University of Glasgow explores the provision of specialist palliative care services in Scotland and compares levels of coverage with other European Union countries.

Specialist Palliative Care Support to adult care homes in England

A new report has been published which examines the role of specialist palliative care in providing support to care homes in England. The report was commissioned by Public Health England, and undertaken by the Marie Curie Research Centre at Cardiff University, with input from the National Council for Palliative Care and Hospice UK.

Intelligence Network update

The July e-alert from Public Health England’s National End of Life Care Intelligence Network is now available.

A qualitative inquiry into the barriers and facilitators to achieving home death

Sayma M, Saleh D, Kerwat D, et al

BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care Published Online First: 31 July 2017. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2016-001260

End-of-life care for homeless people: A qualitative analysis exploring the challenges to access and provision of palliative care

Caroline Shulman, Briony F Hudson, Joseph Low, Nigel Hewett, Julian Daley, Peter Kennedy, Sarah Davis, Niamh Brophy, Diana Howard, Bella Vivat, Patrick Stone.

Palliative Medicine. First published date: July-03-201 10.1177/0269216317717101

How well do we currently care for our dying patients in acute hospitals: the views of the bereaved relatives?

Catriona Rachel Mayland, Helen Mulholland, Maureen Gambles, John Ellershaw and Kevin Stewart. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, Volume 7, Issue 3.

Learning from Scotland’s NHS

The Nuffield Trust has published the first in a new series of reports looking at each of the four health services of the UK in a detailed and qualitative way, while asking what lessons they hold for the other countries.

Back to top

Public and Patient Experience

Patient reported outcome measures for measuring dignity in palliative and end of life care: a scoping review

Bridget Johnston, Kate Flemming, Melanie Jay Narayanasamy, Carolyn Coole and Beth Hardy BMC Health Services Research: Published: 22 August 2017.

Back to top

Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care News

Last chance to book tickets!

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care Annual Conference is one of the premier events in Scotland for anyone involved in the care and support of people reaching the end of life. This year’s conference takes place on Wednesday 20th September 2017 at Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh. Plenary speakers include Diana Hekerem, Prof Deborah Bowman, Dr Jeremy Keen, Prof Havi Carel and Dr Nazir Lone. More information is available here: weblink

Response on Innovation and Technology in the NHS
The SPPC has submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament Health & Sport Committee's call for views on Innovation and Technology in the NHS.

To Absent Friends Festival

To Absent Friends, a people’s festival of storytelling and remembrance, will take place from 1-7 November 2017. Part of our Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief work, the festival was born from a desire to address the social isolation experienced by many people who have been bereaved. Whether you work in health and social care services, the voluntary sector, the independent sector, the Arts or elsewhere, or are just interested in a personal capacity, you are welcome to take part. More information is available on the To Absent Friends website, or please feel free to get in touch.

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

Awards Finalists

We are pleased that Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief has reached the final in this year’s Good Funeral Awards, in the ‘Most significant contribution to the understanding of death' category. The winners will be announced in September.

Back to top

Other News

Planning You Own Funeral

The Scottish Government has published a guide to Planning Your Own Funeral. The short booklet takes people through what they should consider when planning their funeral, provides further information about financial planning for a funeral, and provides space to write down a personal funeral plan which can then be shared with friends and family.

This speaks to me: requests for contributions

As part of Scottish Care's work on Palliative and End of Life Care, they are looking to bring together a new resource highlighting the experience of those working in this area. They are inviting people to contribute a poem, a reading, a saying, a picture or a piece of music that ‘speaks to me’ about caring for someone who requires palliative or end of life care. The deadline for submitting suggestions is 8 September, 2017.

Family Facebook

In September 2016 Together for Short Lives created a secure Facebook group for parents who are currently caring or have cared for children with life-limiting conditions. They have found that members value having the group to turn to. As one member reported, the platform puts people in touch “to hold your hand through the bad times and cheer and whoop with you through the good!”. While staff at Together for Short Lives administrate the group, volunteer parents moderate the discussions, aiming to ensure the group remains a positive place, despite the difficult times some families are facing.

Any family carer can join the group, including those with experience of losing a child. If you work with families, you can print off this flyer and encourage families to sign up.

Fraud risk

Several hospices have been targeted by fraudsters, with some having lost substantial sums of money. Hospices are not the only target for such attempts, and it may be wise for other organisations to urgently review their financial procedures in respect of fraud risk, and take action to educate their staff about this risk.

Methods of deception are constantly changing, but three common methods that are being used frequently are:

  1. Fraudster sending an email which appears to be from the Chair / CEO and asking the finance team to make an urgent payment
  2. Fraudster pretending to be one of the hospices suppliers and asking for their bank details to be updated, so that they receive any future payments from that supplier
  3. Fraudster calling someone in the finance team, pretending to be from the bank (e.g. bank fraud investigations) and persuading them to disclose something they shouldn’t (e.g passwords or pin numbers) or transfer money to a “safe” account because their online security has been breached. It is this third method which has resulted in three significant losses to hospices in recent weeks.

It is recommended that organisations ensure no payments can be made from their accounts without dual authorisation and that if staff are contact on the phone by they should not disclose any confidential information or make any transfers – this is not something a bank should ever ask them to do. If in any doubt, terminate the call and call the bank back using a different phone, having verified that you are calling a legitimate number by referring to published information.

The Charity Finance Group (CFG) has launched a guide to help small charities counter fraud. The guide, The Small Charities Guide to Preventing Fraud looks at measures that charities can put into place to help them stop fraud.

Patient Advice and Support Service from Citizen's Advice

Citizen’s Advice Scotland provide PASS, a free, confidential, & independent advice & support helpline for patients of the NHS in Scotland. The national helpline number is 0800 917 2127. Webchat and "click to call" are also available and can be accessed by visiting the PASS website.

Merger of Hospice UK and National Council for Palliative Care

The merger of Hospice UK and the National Council for Palliative Care (the umbrella charity for all those involved in palliative, end of life and hospice care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) came into effect on 3 July 2017. The merged organisation will keep the name Hospice UK.

The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing has published Creative Health: the Arts for Health and Wellbeing. Chapter 9 focuses on End of Life care.

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 in recent weeks.

BBC News: How to choose the perfect Care Home

Daily Mail: NHS Plan will turn staff into councillors

Press and Journal: Cash Cuts to stop local GPs seeing dying patients.

The Scotsman: Alison Johnstone: Social care should be dictated by need, not date of birth

Back to top

And Finally...

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

Do you work with people who enjoy sharing their memories of times gone by?

This October we are working with Scottish Care and the Luminate Festival of Creative Ageing on an initiative which aims to uncover lost tales of relationships in the 1940s and 50s. We want to find out about the adults that made the decade special - the parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, teachers, neighbours and friends that left a lasting impression on young people living in post-war Scotland.

Throughout October, we'll be inviting people to take part in a Scotland-wide reminiscence project called Absent Friends from the 40s & 50s. We'll be collecting stories and anecdotes and creating an online collage of remembrance which celebrates and commemorates some of the 'ordinary' people made these decades special. If you’re interested in taking part, please get in touch or check out the website for more information.

Back to top

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.

Inaugural Scottish Care Lecture: Human Rights in Social Care in Scotland

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.

Anticipatory Care Planning: What, why and how?

Organised by the ALLIANCE. 1 September 2017, Glasgow.

More information is available here: weblink.

Is realistic medicine realistic for palliative care?

Organised by Marie Curie. An ‘in conversation’ event with Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood. 14 September 2017, Edinburgh. More information is available here: weblink.

Conference: Volunteering - The Golden Thread in Health

Organised by Voluntary Health Scotland. 14 September 2017,
Clydebank. 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.

End of Life Care: The Principles Module

Organised by St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in affiliation with Glasgow Caledonian University (27th September and 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th October 2017) More information is available here: weblink or by emailing Margaret Donnelly.

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 Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief. 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. More information is available here: weblink.

Non Medical Prescribing in Cancer Care

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. London, 15 December 2017. More information is available here: weblink.

St Columba’s Hospice in collaboration with Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, provide two programmes of study:

  • The Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care
  • The MSc in Person-centred Practice (Palliative Care) and the Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care

For further information on these courses and the modules being run by St Columba’s in 2017/18 and/or how to apply please visit St Columba’s Hospice website: weblink.

APM Annual Supportive and Palliative Care Conference, in association with the Palliative Care Congress

Towards evidence based compassionate care. 15-16 March 2018, Bournemouth International Centre. More information is available here: weblink.

Back to top

OSCR Registered Charity SC017979