Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care

Welcome to the first COVID-19 edition of SPPC UPDATE. Below we digest the flood of published national guidance, provide news of forthcoming national resources/guidance (to save local duplication), a sample of other useful resources (UK and beyond) and links to research hubs. There are also some self-care ideas and a few things intended to lift spirits.

There’ll likely be another edition soon. If you have content suggestions including things you want to share please contact SPPC. We’ll try to keep things brief and relevant. Key links in this and future editions will also put on the COVID-19 section of the SPPC website.

Official Policy Guidance

A range of UK-wide Guidance on Infection Control Relating to COVID-19

Guidance Document, plus graphics and video on safe use of PPE:

Scottish Government National Supporting Guidance for Scottish General Practice (V1.18th March)

Lengthy and comprehensive guidance (with cross-referencing to other guidance and resources). Aims: to be a good practice resource for all members of the general practice team; to support practices to maintain the best and safest possible service to patients; to enable practices to provide good support to their staff across a range of workforce issues.

A Summary Collation from SG/BMA/RCGP of Key Guidance and Actions

Covers a broad range including: Covid-19 Community Pathway Model [planned implementation 23rd March]; PPE; virtual consultations; suspension of online booking systems;use of eFrailty indexes; and more.

SG/RCGP Key Information Summary (KIS) Guidance for GP Practice Teams During Covid-19 Pandemic

New approaches for populating existing KIS’s, and creating new ones, for at risk patients. It covers changes to the usual process including consent, and guides identification and proactive contacting of at risk patients without a KIS.

Scottish Government Cover Letter for the Previous Item

Health Protection Scotland - Information and Guidance for Social or Community Care & Residential Settings (V1.3 last updated 23rd March)

Health Protection Scotland Advice for Pharmacies (V3.2 last updated 18 March)

Health Protection Scotland Guidance for First Responders and others in Close Contact with Symptomatic People

Rapid Evidence Reviews and Guidelines from NICE

A range of evidence reviews and rapid guidelines. Includes a Rapid Guideline on Critical Care featuring a flowchart/algorithm from hospital admission (refers to end of life care).

Back to top

Scottish Guidance/Resources Relating to PEOLC in Development

The following national resources are currently in rapid development. It is a fast moving environment so this list is not comprehensive or definitive:-

Scottish COVID-19 Palliative Care Guideline

This guideline aims to support professionals who are already skilled in providing generalist palliative. It will inform provision of normal palliative care in scenarios where alternatives to usual options are necessary. It will complement but not duplicate other content in the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines.

Scottish COVID-19 End of Life Care Guideline

This guideline will aim to support good quality end of life care addressing issues specific to COVID-19.

Short Form ACP for Health & Care Professionals

A resource to support conversations and document preferences in the context of COVID-19. Will align with changes to KIS (see SG/RGCP guidance above). Work being led by HIS.

Resource to Support Family-led/documented ACP

Being led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (Living Well in Communities) and Office of the SG Chief Designer.

Rapid Education Resources on Palliative and End of Life Care

A variety of work aimed at groups across health and social care with limited previous experience of proximity to dying.

Care Homes (and Care at Home)

A range of work to support normal end of life care in fast evolving circumstances.

If you are aware of other national work not featured then please contact SPPC.

Back to top

Public-facing Resources Which May Be Useful for Professionals

NHS Inform - COVID-19 Information for the Public

People Dealing with Death, Dying and Bereavement - Where to Go For Support?

A broad range of resources and links produced/curated by Good Life Good Death Good Grief. (Not COVID-19 specific)

Caring for Someone with Terminal Illness

Range of guides, sources of information and helpline from Marie Curie. (Not COVID-19 specific)

Practical two-side Guide to Supporting Someone Dying at Home

Developed by the Helix Centre (Not Covid-19 specific). More resources expected to follow soon.

Coronavirus – Dealing with Grief and Bereavement

Wide range of COVID-19 specific resources from Cruse Bereavement Care (UK). Speaks to the current context and covers issues such as funerals, isolation, children etc.

Back to top

Other Useful Resources

COVID-19 and Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care in Secondary: Care Role of the specialty and guidance to aid care (Guidance from the Association for Palliative Medicine)


This is the hashtag on twitter being used to rapidly share problems, solutions, information and resources.

Free COVID-19 specific Education Resources and Crisis Response Resources (Centre to Advance Palliative Care, USA)

Lots of very practical educational and other resources. (Details of dosage/clinical practice may diverge from Scottish recommendations).

Education materials here:

Crisis Response Resources here:

Video Consultations – A Guide for Practice (British Journal General Practice Life)

Ten Tips for Telephone Consultations About Covid-19 (British Journal of General Practice Life)

EAPC Coronavirus and the Palliative Care Response

Webpage with resources and links to EAPC social media. Includes translations of resources used in Italy.

The Corona Virus Tech Handbook (being crowdsourced in real time)

Vast collection of COVID-19 resources spanning disciplines sourced from around the world. Medical equipment hacks, triage protocols, self-care, DIY mask manufacture, research, a meme collection and loads more. No palliative care apparent.

Reflections on a Rapid Non-Systematic Review of Key Literature on Palliative Care in Pandemic and Related Contexts. (End of Life Studies Group, Glasgow University)

Powerful comic strip “Palliative Care in the Time of Covid

Back to top


The SPPC staff team is working remotely and re-aligning priorities and resources. If there is something you think we should doing or helping with then get in touch. Likewise if you are trying to find something out we'll try to point you in the right direction. Email is in normal operation. To speak to any of the team call 0131 272 2735 or 077 33884427. We're in the process of putting in place additional direct lines to the team.

Back to top


Scottish Acute Network for Palliative Care (SNAPC)

The Scottish Network for Acute Palliative Care (SNAPC) has embarked on virtual meetings via Zoom, helping to connect hospital palliative care teams and promote the flow of information in difficult times. For more information contact here.

Hospice UK

Hospice UK has a COVID-19 clinical ECHO group for hospice and palliative care teams across the UK. It meets weekly on Wednesdays 3.30 – 5pm. The link to register is here. It will also give people access to guidelines, protocols that other teams are sharing.

Back to top


A library of wellbeing resources from the Intensive Care Society (but of wide applicability). Includes brief visuals specific to COVID-19

Back to top

Covid-19 Research

New England Journal Collection of Free Papers

Comprehensive List of Open Access Covid-19 Papers in SAGE Journals

Back to top

A Little Light in the Darkness

Most of Scotland is adapting to staying at home. However, most readers of this bulletin are likely to be in their usual workplaces, providing essential health and care to people in great need.

The lock down has resulted in some new potential distractions from COVID-19. Below we hope you'll find something new to enjoy after a tough day or night at work.

Music and Theatre

Gareth Malone's Great British Home Chorus

Stay At Home Fest - Online music festival by artists unable to play live

Royal Opera House archive productions free on Youtube

The Show Must Go On Online - Pro/Am Shakespeare readings via Youtube


Free livestreamed classes

Back to top

And Finally……..

Have you ever felt compelled to sing for your colleagues in the workplace?

Back to top

OSCR Registered Charity SC017979