Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care: Update

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


Visiting guidance for adult care homes in Scotland

The Scottish Government published Visiting Guidance for Adult Care Homes in Scotland. The guidance aims to support a staged approach to the reintroduction of visiting in care homes.

Hospital visiting guidance

The Scottish Government has published guidance to support a staged approach to reintroducing visits to hospitals over and above essential visits, in a safe and planned way. It only applies to areas of hospitals where there is no COVID-19.

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Supporting the spiritual care needs of those who are nearing the end of life

This guide from NHS Education Scotland gives key points for health and social care staff to consider when supporting the spiritual care needs of those who are nearing the end of life during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Compassion, resilience and COVID-19

In this article for the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Healthcare Chaplain Andy Gillies reflects on how to maintain compassion and resilience in times of COVID-19.

Dementia: a whole life approach

The Life Changes Trust has published Dementia: a whole life approach – A resource for creating better lives. This online boxset outlines much of the work that the Trust has funded and draws together their first tranche of learning from 2015 until 2019.

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Public-facing information

Patient medication information leaflets

A range of patient information leaflets have been published to accompany the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines, providing patients and carers with an explanation of drugs used within palliative care.

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Academic and Research

CovPall Study Newsletter

Premilinary findings from the study Rapid evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic response in palliative and end of life care: national delivery, workforce and symptom management (CovPall) have been published in the CovPall Study June Newsletter.

HIS COVID palliative care bulletin – 26th May

The Knowledge Management Team at Healthcare Improvement Scotland are producing palliative care literature alerts in relation to COVID-19. The most recent editions were published on 23rd June and 29th June. If you would like to sign up to the regular distribution list, please contact HIS on

Deaths in Scottish care homes and COVID

The International Long Term Care Policy Network has published Deaths in Scottish care homes and COVID-19.

Experiences, concerns, and priorities for palliative care research during the COVID-19 pandemic

A partnership of organisations has published Experiences, concerns, and priorities for palliative care research during the COVID-19 pandemic, a rapid virtual stakeholder consultation with people affected by serious illness in England

General Practice in the time of COVID-19

12 general practitioners in Deep End practices in Glasgow and Edinburgh have contributed to Deep End Report 36: General Practice in the time of COVID-19, in which they report and reflect on their experience of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected patients and practices. As the pandemic continues and the economic consequences unfold, the report also considers the future implications. The full report is available here: Full Report and the summary report is available here: Summary Report

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Survey - what next for Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief?

Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief provides networking opportunities, resources and practical support to individuals, groups and organisations who want to improve local experiences of death, dying, loss and care. We are particularly interested supporting and enabling communities to identify their own needs and take action to address them.

We are exploring what we can do that would be of most help in current times and we'd be grateful for your views. The following survey should take approximately 2 minutes to complete: survey.

Truacanta Project in the time of Coronavirus: new blog post

Project Manager for the Truacanta Project, Caroline Gibb, has written about the impact of Coronavirus and lockdown restrictions on the work of SPPC, Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief; and, of course, on the Truacanta Project itself. Read it here.

SPPC Autumn Season

Sadly, due to the pandemic, we can no longer bring you the planned SPPC annual conference. Instead we are going to bring you the SPPC Autumn Season.

The Autumn Season will consist of three bite-sized virtual events, together with a poster display and competition done in a very different way.

We can’t replicate those chance encounters in the lunch queue which are a valued part of a face to face conference. However, we plan to bring you:

  • High quality presenters on important topics
  • Small group discussion
  • Q&A
  • Real time opinion seeking designed to shape the future of palliative care.

We can’t give you the neo-classical Georgian splendour of the Royal College of Physicians. However, we can invite you to join from your bedroom or busy office, without the need to travel or give up a whole day. Random cats and kids are welcome too. More details to follow soon

What next for palliative care in Scotland?

In the January edition of UPDATE we let you know that over the next year, the SPPC would be exploring what a future palliative care strategy for Scotland might look like. The purpose of this work is to produce an authoritative paper which makes a credible, influential and evidence-based case for action. The pandemic has served to shine a spotlight on the experiences of death, dying and loss in Scotland making this piece of work more important and topical than ever. Having lost some time due to the pandemic we are now revising the planned process of engagement with stakeholders. We are keen to hear your views and experiences. More details soon.

Podcast: the role of palliative care during a pandemic

SPPC Chief Executive Mark Hazelwood has recorded a podcast for the ALLIANCE discussing the role of palliative care within the COVID-19 pandemic.


In June we were sorry to say farewell to our colleague Robert Peacock. Robert has been involved with SPPC since taking on a volunteer role establishing Death on the Fringe in 2014, and became Development Manager for Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief in 2017. We'd like to thank Robert for his hard work and contribution to the work of SPPC. Any emails related to Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief or To Absent Friends should now be directed to:

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Other News

Collective Care Futures Programme

Scottish Care is leading a programme of work which aims to build on the learning from COVID-19 to collectively explore the new care reality and work towards shaping a 'preferable' care future. They are inviting those who have experience of working or connecting with care homes or care at home services to take part in this survey series to share their experience. A new survey will be released each week for 6 weeks - you can sign up to receive notifications about the surveys as they are released.

Near Me public survey on video consulting

The Scottish Government are undertaking a survey to find out people's views on video consulting.

Survey - Experiences of end-of-life care during the COVID-19 crisis

A partnership of organisations in Liverpool has developed an online questionnaire to enable people to share their experiences of end-of-life care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help plan for and manage situations like this in the future. They would like to hear from those who have experienced the death of a relative or friend, and health and social care professionals who cared for a patient who died during the COVID-19 crisis. The person who died may or may not have been infected with COVID-19. You can take part in the survey here: Survey - Experiences of end-of-life care

Macmillan Telephone Buddies

Macmillan Telephone Buddies is a new UK wide telephone befriending service, set up by Macmillan in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone affected by cancer can receive a regular telephone call – for a period of up to 12 weeks - from a trained volunteer buddy.

New support service for Care Home and Care at Home staff

Faith in Older People has partnered with colleagues who are experienced in listening and pastoral support to offer care home and care at home staff access to a confidential and free listening service.

The Kindness Project

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland have recruited and trained over 5,000 Kindness Volunteers to support people during the Covid-19 pandemic to stay safe and well in their own homes. The service offers people the opportunity to be matched to a Kindness Volunteer who can provide a regular phone call, collection of shopping, or dog walking.

Mobile app to support carers during the Coronavirus pandemic

The University of Stirling is working with mobile app developer Vidatec on a new platform that will support informal carers during the Coronavirus pandemic. The project aims to ensure carers have access to the latest information to help them limit the risks associated with the outbreak and access support during the crisis.

Getting care and support if you're LGBTQ+

June was Pride month, and Marie Curie are again highlighting their support and information tailored to the LGBT+ community. You can find out more, and download their free booklet for LGBTQ+ people affected by terminal illness, here.

Gold Standards Framework and Hospice UK

Hospice UK and the Gold Standards Framework Centre are forming a partnership which will see the GSF Centre becoming a subsidiary of Hospice UK. Queries relating to this can be directed to: or

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Courses and Events

SPPC Autumn Season

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative is replacing its Annual Conference with the SPPC Autumn Season, a series of three bite-sized virtual events, together with a poster display and competition. More details to follow soon.

Public Health Research in Palliative Care: Towards Solutions for Global Challenges

This seminar will take place online on 17 and 18 November 2020, and be an opportunity to focus on the COVID-19 Pandemic. Registration fee:€55 More information is available here: weblink

Healthcare Conferences UK

Healthcare Conferences UK have a programme of online conferences and virtual online training courses relevant to palliative and end of life care.

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