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.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 – Scotland’s Action Plan

The Scottish Government has published Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 – Scotland’s Action Plan, which aims to ensure that the right PPE of the right quality gets to the people who need it at the right time.

Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan 2020-2021

The Scottish Government has published its Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan 2020-2021, which includes specific references to palliative care and end of life care.

Visiting Guidance for Hospitals in Scotland

The Scottish Government has published Visiting Guidance for Hospitals in Scotland.

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Good practice in use of antibiotics towards the end of life

The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) has published Good Practice Recommendations for use of antibiotics towards the end of life.

NES Bereavement webinars

NHS Education Scotland have been running a series of bereavement webinars for health and social care professionals. Slides and podcasts relating to the series can be accessed here: NES bereavement webinars.

Pressure ulcer standards

Healthcare Improvement Scotland have published new standards for the prevention and management of pressure ulcers.

Sharing current Scottish Practice

SPPC Poster Exhibition

Launched at the SPPC Autumn Season this month, the SPPC's online poster exhibition presents 64 posters sharing recent work from across Scotland and beyond.

Previous SPPC conference posters

The SPPC Annual Conference in 2019 featured 32 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:

Sharing your practice

The SPPC hosts a blog as a platform 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 email:

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Academic and Research

Preliminary results from a survey of people bereaved in the UK during the pandemic

A collaborative of organisations are currently undertaking a mixed methods national study aiming to understand and give voice to the experiences of people bereaved in the UK of any cause since 16th March 2020. This report presents the interim findings from the first 532 respondents to the survey, which remains open until 31 December 2020.

Unscheduled and out-of-hours care for people in their last year of life: a retrospective cohort analysis of national datasets

Mason B, Kerssens JJ, Stoddart A, et al, BMJ Open 2020;10:e041888. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041888

This recently published study analysed patterns of use and costs of unscheduled NHS services for people in the last year of life.

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12 new projects to improve palliative care in acute hospitals

The SPPC is pleased to be supporting 12 new local projects aimed at improving palliative care in acute hospitals in Scotland. The projects have been funded as part of Building on the Best, a joint project by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, NHS Boards and Macmillan. Six grants of up to £1000 have been awarded for small scale quality improvement projects, with six larger grants of up to £10,000 being awarded for larger-scale quality improvement projects. The projects will take place in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, NHS Western Isles, NHS Tayside, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Dumfries & Galloway and NHS Lothian.

Autumn Season

This year's Annual Conference was replaced by the SPPC Autumn Season - four bite-sized virtual events, together with a poster display and competition. Recordings of presentations will be made available shortly.

Poster Parade

Over the years, the poster display and competition has formed an integral part of networking and best practice sharing and learning at our Annual Conferences. 2020 was no exception, with an unprecedented number of entries for the Partnership's virtual poster display and competition. You can view the poster exhibition here: SPPC Virtual Poster Exhibition.

Winner of the Derek Doyle Poster Prize

Each year we award the Derek Doyle Poster Prize to the poster that gets the most public votes. This years winners were:

1st place: Parlez-vous prognostic indicators? How health and social care occupational therapists in Fife are driving integrated system-wide change in palliative care services by Claire Howie and Alison Watt, NHS Fife/ Fife HSCP

2nd place: Your service, your way: Breaking down barriers and developing reciprocal links between the hospice and multiple ethnic minority communities in Govanhill, Glasgow using Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) by Christina Inglis and Janette McGarvey, Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

3rd place: Anticipatory Care Planning in care and nursing homes in Inverclyde by David Lynch, Ardgowan Hospice.

To Absent Friends Festival

To Absent Friends, a people's festival of storytelling and remembrance took place1-7 November. Despite covid-19 restrictions, communities across Scotland found innovative ways of creating human connection and opportunities for remembrance - including a Window Wanderland and beach bonfires.

The week also saw the launch of the To Absent Friends Cookbook, a collaboration between Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, Macmillan Scotland, Cruse Scotland, Marie Curie Scotland, Sue Ryder Scotland and Scottish Care. More information about the festival and the events which took place is available on the website: To Absent Friends Festival.

Truacanta events

Over the past five weeks, we have run three online Truacanta workshops for people looking to build on or interested in finding out more about compassionate communities work and work around death, dying and bereavement in Scotland:

  • Bringing death, dying and bereavement work online
  • A community development approach
  • Creating inclusive, accessible spaces

These interactive workshops brought together like-minded people to hear from speakers, share their own successes and challenges, and create personal actions to take away.

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Other news

Survey: Future of Hospice Care in Scotland

Hospice UK, in partnership with the Scottish Hospice Leadership Group, wants to hear your views on the future of hospice care in Scotland. They want to know how hospice care is adapting and changing, and working with other partners, to meet Scotland’s growing need for palliative and end of life care. What are your key priorities and challenges, and what support does the sector need going forward?

They welcome responses from hospice staff and trustees, staff providing palliative and end of life care in other settings, and those involved in research and strategic planning of palliative and end of life care in Scotland.

The survey will inform a joint report by Hospice UK and the Scottish Hospice Leadership Group on the contribution and future role of hospice care in Scotland, to be published in early 2021. It is also aligned with wider work being carried out by the SPPC to produce a position paper on future priorities and developments required to improve death, dying and bereavement in Scotland over the next 10 years.

Find out more and complete the survey here (survey closes Friday 11 December 2020)

National Childhood Bereavement Co-ordinator Project

Includem were awarded the contract to deliver the National Childhood Bereavement Coordinator project by the Scottish Government. It is the role of the Coordinator to review and advise on steps to improve the capacity of the sector to meet the needs of all children and young people who experience bereavement. The project has a remit to cover the whole of Scotland with the work spanning a number of policy areas. This is including, but not limited to, children and families, people with care experience, youth justice, health and education.

To meaningfully build on the incredible work currently delivered by individuals and organisations in the sector, Includem is actively seeking the views of anyone with a professional interest in or personal experience of childhood bereavement. If you would like to keep up to date with the progress of the project and opportunities to become involved, please sign up to the newsletter here. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with the Project Lead, Denisha Killoh, directly at

Caring behind closed doors

Carers UK has published Caring behind closed doors: 6 months on, exploring the impact of covid-19 on unpaid carers.

Research Survey - eye donation

Researchers at the University of Southampton are inviting healthcare professionals to complete a survey which asks about the option of eye donation from palliative and hospice care settings. The survey takes 10-15 minutes.

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Bereavement following substance abuse

8 December, organised by NHS Education Scotland. More information is available here: weblink.

Save the date - NHS Education Scotland national bereavement conference

Wednesday 24 February 2021 Morning (half-day event). More information is available here: weblink

Healthcare Conferences Online virtual conferences

HC-UK are running a series of virtual events:

  • Improving End of Life Care for people with Cardiovascular Disease & Heart Failure, 2 December
  • Effective Non Medical Prescribing in End of Life Care, 4 December
  • Decision Making and Mental Capacity: Ensuring Best Practice & Adherence to the NICE Guideline, 11 December
  • Improving the Care of Dying Adults in the last days of life: Improving care and support during Covid-19, 19 January
  • Improving End of Life Care for People with Dementia during Covid-19, 28 January

More information is available here: weblink or by emailing

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