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.


Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care (England)

In England, the National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership has published Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2021-2026.

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Strathcarron 'Living Right to the End' Impact Report

The University of Stirling has published an impact report of Strathcarron Hospice's compassionate communities project: Strathcarron Hospice’s Living Right Up To The End: The impact and experience of compassionate neighbours on social networks.

Sharing current Scottish practice

The SPPC Autumn Season 2020 featured an online poster exhibition of 64 posters, 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:

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Academic and Research

Dying in the Cold

Marie Curie has worked with with Dr Joy Rafferty at Strathcarron Hospice to publish Dying in the Cold: Being Homeless at the End of Life. The narrative and recommendations in the report are based on existing research and feedback from a homelessness and end of life care summit which Marie Curie hosted in October 2020.

NIHR Palliative and End of Life Care Research Partnerships - Commissioning Brief

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is keen to support the building of capacity and capability in palliative and end of life care. More information is available here: NIHR Palliative and End of Life Care Research Partnerships - Commissioning Brief.

NHS Research Scotland (NRS) COVID-19 Research Talks

All researchers working on COVID-19 in Scotland are invited to submit their work for consideration as part of a series of talks exploring the research response to COVID-19 in Scotland. Hosted by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) and NHS Scotland Research – Central Management Team (NRS-CMT), with input from the NRS Infectious Disease Network; new talks will be regularly published by expert researchers working in Scotland and will cover the length and breadth of Scottish research into COVID-19. Once published, talks and linked content will be available to view on-demand.

Understanding and addressing challenges for advance care planning in the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis of the UK CovPall survey data from specialist palliative care services

This paper by Andy Bradshaw et al, published in Palliative Medicine, aims to describe the challenges that UK specialist palliative care services experienced regarding advance care planning during COVID-19 and changes made to support timely conversations.

Modelling palliative and end-of-life resource requirements during COVID-19: implications for quality care

This paper by Daniel Chalk et al, published in BMJ Open, aims to develop a generic computer model that could estimate resources required for end-of-life (EoL) care delivery during the pandemic.

Health and social care professionals’ experiences of providing end of life care during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study

This paper by Jeffrey Hanna et al, published in BMJ Open, aims to explore health and social care professionals’ experiences of providing end of life care during the COVID-19 pandemic to help inform current/future clinical practice and policy.

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Free online course to support wellbeing, health and resilience

The CovidWEL course has been developed to provide useful, hands-on support for your wellbeing, health and resilience during this difficult era, and then beyond, after COVID. It is designed to help you to help yourself, is free of charge, and takes approximately 3 hours to complete online.

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Demystifying Death Week

Demystifying Death Week took place between 10-16 May, and we'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made time to organise an event, attend an event, write a blog, share information or experiences, tweet or retweet... and anything else, big or small that helped to make the week worthwhile. It was wonderful to see so many people join forces to shine a light on death, dying and bereavement in Scotland. To get involved and receive regular updates from Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, sign up here: Join Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

Truacanta Death Club

Every few weeks the Truacanta Death Club gets together online, with a cup of tea and a biscuit and our reflections on something we've read, watched or listened to. Whether that's a book, a TV programme, an article or a podcast, there will be a connection to themes of death, dying, loss and care. It's free to join, the groups are small and discussion informal.

The next Truacanta Death Club will be on Thursday 10 June, 7-8.30pm.

This time we will kick off our discussion by chatting about the documentary Being Mortal, in which Dr. Atul Gawande explores death, dying and why even doctors struggle to discuss being mortal with patients.

Sign up now: weblink

End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone (EASE) Online

EASE is a free course for people who want to be better equipped to help friends or family who are caring, dying, or grieving. EASE online is designed for members of the public and the course welcomes adults of all ages, experiences and walks of life. The next course will run in September. This course will start on Wednesday 1 September, with the weekly Zoom discussion session on Wednesdays 8/15/22/29 September, from 7-8.30pm.

Is the course for health and social care professionals?

The course does not go into the level of detail you are likely to need if you provide care in your professional role, for example as a nurse, care assistant or chaplain. In the case of limited course places being available, priority will be given to lay-people rather than professionals. Exceptions to this may be made if you are interested in becoming an EASE facilitator and running the course yourself in the future (see 'becoming an EASE facilitator' below).

We realise that some professionals may find EASE online a useful introduction these issues, and we aim to accommodate this by running occasional courses for professionals. If this is of interest to you, please get in touch, but make it clear that you are seeking training as part of your professional role.

Becoming an EASE facilitator

We welcome and encourage people from all backgrounds and experiences to become EASE facilitators, and to go on to organise and run courses for their own communities and networks. We aim to run facilitator training twice each year, and anyone who’s completed the ordinary EASE course can go on to apply to become an EASE facilitator.

More information is available here: End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone (EASE) online

SPPC Poster Parade

If you have a piece of work which others might be interested to hear about then the SPPC poster event is a great way for everyone to share and learn from each other. SPPC’s annual poster event will be taking place again in the autumn and timescales for submission will be published shortly.

SPPC Position Paper on the Future Development of Palliative Care in Scotland

For a year SPPC has been engaging with stakeholders to understand views and opinions about how to improve people’s experiences of living with serious illness, dying and bereavement in Scotland. A final consultation on the draft will be starting shortly. The final paper is intended to inform and influence a new SG national strategy on palliative and end of life care.

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Other News

Inspiring Leadership Programme

The Inspiring Leadership Programme aims to support specialist palliative care teams adopt a more proactive approach to service delivery and to embed the values, behaviours and attitudes of leadership. Developed and launched in 2017, the programme was originally developed to help identify Clinical Nurse Specialists and other Allied Health Professionals from specialist palliative care teams and prepare them for future roles. The programme is now open to all registered health and social care professionals working within specialist palliative care in Scotland. The next Inspiring Leadership programme will commence October 2021. Registration via email will open on 16th June 2021 and close on 16th August 2021. To register interest please email:

It's OK to Ask

NHS Scotland have launched a public campaign to support patients and health and care professionals to have positive conversations about care and treatment. The key message of the campaign is that it’s okay to ask questions of health and care professionals.

Expression of Interest - adult end of life care projects

The End of Life Care Integrator is seeking expressions of interest for adult end of life care projects. They are keen to work with interested parties across the four nations of the UK. Expressions of interest that focus on the following are particularly encouraged:

  • Increasing end of life care services that will actively support system recovery from the pandemic.
  • Addressing health inequalities in terms of access to end of life care and/or outcomes achieved.
  • Partnership working across the health and social care system.

Applications are due by midnight on Friday, June 25th, 2021. More information is available here: weblink

eHospice is a global news website for everything to do with hospice and palliative care. They are a free-of-charge collaboration between international, regional, national and local hospice and palliative care organisations and individual staff and volunteers across six continents. is about the free sharing of news, stories, research findings, information, policy, best practice and innovation in palliative care around the world. Their target audiences are palliative care professionals and volunteers, carers and everyone with an interest in end-of-life care.

Register for the ehospice weekly newsletter here:

Racism and Palliative Care

Palliative Medicine Journal recently featured an editorial by Jamilla Akhter Hussain, Jonathan Koffman and Sabrina Bajwah exploring why racism in palliative care exists, and what we can and should be doing to fix it.

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Truacanta Death Club.

Organised by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief. Thursday 10 June (7pm - 8.30pm).

An informal discussion, chatting about the documentary Being Mortal, in which Dr. Atul Gawande explores death, dying and why even doctors struggle to discuss being mortal with patients. Book here: weblink.

What Matters to You Webinar: Person Centred Cancer Care

Organised by Macmillan. Thursday 10 June (6pm- 8pm). Book here: weblink.

Creative ways of working with bereaved children

Organised by Child Bereavement UK. Dates: 29 June (10am-1pm), 28th July (10am-1pm). More information is available here: weblink.

Practical Guide to Best Practice Symptom Control & Management in End of Life Care

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. 29 June 2021, online. More information is available here: weblink.

When grief goes viral

With Robert Neimeyer and Sherman Lee. A webinar organised by the University of Greenwich. 1 July. More information is available here: weblink.

Improving End of Life Care for people with Cardiovascular Disease & Heart Failure

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. 7 July 2021, online. More information is available here: weblink.

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