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.


Update on the forthcoming palliative and end of life care strategy

Scottish Government has committed to developing a new strategy for palliative and end of life care, taking a whole system, population and public health approach to development and delivery. Read the update in full here.

A high-level statement of aims, principles, priorities and approach to developing the strategy has been produced. This paper, which continues to evolve, can be found here.

SG are planning to establish a webpage to host papers and updates relating to the development and delivery of the strategy. The Policy Team can be contacted via

Parliamentary Questions on Bereavement

Scottish Government have responded to the following questions lodged on 13 March by Bob Doris, MSP Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn:

Question reference: S6W-15839

"To ask the Scottish Government whether it will commit to developing a new, cross-departmental bereavement strategy that recognises support following bereavement as a human right."

Click here to read the response.

Question reference: S6W-15837

"To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide further details of the wide package of bereavement support as referenced in the letter from the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care to the Chair and Scotland’s Commissioners of the UK Commission on Bereavement, dated 28 December 2022."

Click here to read the response.

Question reference: S6W-15835

"To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to address the recommendation of the UK Commission on Bereavement in its 2022 report, Bereavement is everyone’s business, that governments in each UK nation must invest 79p annually per person in the population for transforming bereavement services over the next five years, with a particular focus on better supporting minority groups."

Click here to read the response.

Question reference: S6W-15838

"To ask the Scottish Government whether it supports the core recommendations of the UK Commission on Bereavement in its 2022 report, Bereavement is everyone’s business, and whether it plans to implement the recommendations, and, if so, within what timescale."

Click here to read the response.

Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal 2023: Members' Business Debate in Scottish Parliament

On 16 March 2023, Scottish Parliament held a business members' debate on a motion put forward by Gillian Martin MSP welcoming Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal 2023. During the course of the debate, several MSPs spoke about work being done in the fields of palliative and end-of-life care by Marie Curie and other organisations in their constituencies and across Scotland, as well as the need to raise public awareness of available services. Read the full draft transcript of the debate here.

National Care Service Bill completion of Stage 1 consideration deadline postponed

The Scottish Parliament has agreed to postpone the deadline for completion of Stage 1 consideration of the National Care Service Bill until 30 June.

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State of the Bereavement Sector 2023 Survey

This survey is for managers of bereavement services in the UK. It is being run by the National Bereavement Alliance and the Childhood Bereavement Network. The findings from the survey will be used to inform campaigning and lobbying work on behalf of bereaved adults and children and those supporting them. This will include make the case for sustained funding, and advocacy to local and national government and to health bodies.

If you have questions about the survey, please contact Alison Penney at You can complete the survey here.

Draft SIGN Guideline on Care of Deteriorating Patients now available for consultation

The consultation on the Care of Deteriorating Patients guideline is now live and will remain open until 6pm on Tuesday 11 April. SIGN welcomes your feedback on the draft guideline, which you can read and respond to here.

Sharing current Scottish Practice

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Academic and Research

Study - Provision of palliative and end-of-life care in UK care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new observational study has been published by Frontiers In Public Health looking at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on provision of palliative and end-of-life care in UK care homes, with the aims of investigating the response of UK care homes to the pandemic and to propose policy recommendations to strengthen provision of palliative and end-of-life care in future. Read the full article here.

SCADR Research Update Podcast - The increase in deaths at home during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Implications for end of life care in 2023

Jan Savinc appeared on an SCADR Research Update podcast to summarise his research into the increase in deaths at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for end of life care and health service usage in 2023. Read a summary and listen to the podcast here and find out more about the project here.

Study: Overhaul bereavement support in the wake of the pandemic

The National Centre for Social Research has published a report on a study exploring the experiences of bereaved people and of those working in the funeral industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim was to consider the implications for bereavement rituals such as funerals, and the impact that the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic had on individuals, their wellbeing, their work, and their support needs. Read the full report here.

Marie Curie call for research to understand how many people miss out on care and support at the end of life

Marie Curie want to commission research to understand how many people across the UK who need palliative care are missing out on appropriate care and support. The project's outputs will further our understanding of what services and interventions are required, where and by whom to address unmet palliative care needs at the population level. The fund is now open to applications, and applications close on 10 May 2023. Find out more here.

Standards of Care for Older People - HIS Scoping Survey

Healthcare Improvement Scotland's Standards of Care for Older People initial scoping survey will close on 7th April. If you would like to complete the survey please do so here.

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Demystifying Death Week

Demystifying Death Week will take place 1-7 May 2023 and is about shining a light on death, dying and bereavement in Scotland. Each year, organisations and individuals across Scotland organise events to mark Demystifying Death Week. All kinds of events take place, from death cafes to film nights, exhibitions to craft workshops, seminars to lunches. Would you like to be involved with this year's Demystifying Death Week? Find out more and get involved here.

SPPC Staff Roles

As our work evolves, SPPC staff roles are growing and changing. As the Truacanta Project comes to a close, Caroline Gibb will take on a new role as Community Development Lead, including progressing our work with the End of LIfe Aid Skills for Everyone (EASE) course and Truacanta: the Scottish Compassionate Communities Network. Caroline Sime, previously Project Lead for Building on the Best will take on the role of Clinical Engagement Lead, will continue to manage the SNAPC and Community networks and support the SPPC’s work to engage, improve and promote the work of Scotland’s clinical specialist palliative care teams.

Bereavement Newsletter

We've worked with Faith in Older People to publish a special bereavement-focused edition of the Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief newsletter. It explores recent developments relating to bereavement support in Scotland, with a particular focus on some of the support that communities, including faith communities, can provide. The newsletter can be viewed here: Bereavement Newsletter.

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Other News

Boots Palliative Care Service Launches

Boots has worked with Macmillan Cancer Support and the NHS to launch a Palliative Care Service in its pharmacies. The service is designed to provide ease of access to vital medicines and specialist pharmacist advice and support to patients and their carers as many patients are finding it harder to access healthcare. For full details, visit the service's website.

PCOM360 - A Tool for Analyzing Patient Centred Outcome Measures

Social Finance and Wolfson Palliative Care Research Unit have built a freely available tool to streamline analysing and displaying Patient Centred Outcome Measures (PCOMs) in palliative care services. PCOM360 is accessible to all and comes with three additional resources to help build and design a version suited to a range of service and needs. For more details and to download the tool and resources, visit the website here.

The Cost of Dying Photo Exhibition

The Dying in the Margins project began in 2019, with the aim of uncovering the reasons behind unequal access to home dying for people experiencing financial hardship and socio-economic deprivation in the UK. A series of photographs has been created through the study, and a Public exhibition of the photographs, the ‘Cost of Dying’ exhibition, will be held at the Advanced Research Centre (ARC) at The University of Glasgow and will run from 25th April to 5th May 2023. This exhibition is free of charge and open to the public.

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Courses and Events

Save the Date - SPPC Conference 2023

The next Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care Annual Conference will take place on 22 November 2023.

Namaste Care Online Training Course Dates for 2023

Organised by Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice and Ayrshire Hospice. 6 April and 4 May or 3 October and 7 November 2023, online. More information is available here.

Controlled Drugs: Ensuring the Safer Management, Diversion & Abuse, Prescribing and Use - online conference

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. 27 April 2023, online. For more information and to register, visit the website or email

Palliative Outcome Scale (POS + IPOS) Workshop

Organised by the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London and the Hull York Medical School. 16-17 May 2023. More information is available here: weblink.

Association for Continence Advice (ACA) Annual Conference and Exhibition

Organised by the ACA Conference Organising Group. 15 and 16 May 2023, at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Caledonia Funeral Aid - Funeral Costs Workshop

Organised by Caledonia Funeral Aid. 24 May, 11:30am - 1pm, online.

Caledonia Funeral Aid workshops are suitable for anyone who may find themselves asked to advise clients or members of the public about planning and paying for a funeral.

If you would like to attend this free event then book your place here. If you require more information, email Jan or Emma at

Compassionate Cities: Igniting Community

Organised by Compassionate Communities UK. 10-11 July, Birmingham. More information is available here: weblink.

2023 Global Ageing Network Biennial Conference

Organised in partnership with Scottish Care and the National Care Forum. 7-8 September 2023, Glasgow. More information and early-bird registration is available at the conference website.

Strathcarron Hospice - Frailty and Rehabilitation in Palliative Care Conference

Organised by Strathcarron Hospice.

Save the Date - The Grief We Carry

Organised by NHS Education Scotland, the 4th annual Bereavement Education Conference, will take place as an all-day online event on 28 November 2023. More details to follow.

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