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.


Join ECHO community – young adult transition and beyond

This ECHO community of practice aims to improve equity of care to the young adult population by meeting and learning from other professionals and leaders within the transition field. Organised by Princes & Princess of Wales Hospice and CHAS, the community holds regular 75 min ECHO Community of Practice sessions as an opportunity for the group to learn from and support each other. A short video about being part of the Community of Practice is available here:

You can register to be part of the community of practice here:

Sharing current Scottish Practice

The SPPC Autumn Season 2022 featured an online poster exhibition of 55 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:

The SPPC blog is a space to share practice currently underway in Scotland. If you have practice you'd like to share, please get in touch.

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Academic and Research

NIHR Funding Opportunity

The National Institute for Health and Care Research is inviting applications for research funding in Palliative and End of Life Care to help support health and care services in providing dignity and compassion to those at the end of their life.

Find out more and apply at this link.

Participants sought for questionnaire on psychological support in palliative care

A postgraduate research team at the University of Edinburgh are researching current practices in providing psychological support for patients in palliative care and their caregivers. They are seeking palliative care staff to complete a questionnaire about their experiences of providing psychological support to patients and families.

Further study information can be found here, and the questionnaire is available here:

A Human Rights based approach to Palliative Care: Towards Solutions for Public Health Palliative Care

The call for abstracts is now open and the deadline is 14 July 2023. To find out more, submit an abstract, or register as an early bird, please visit the website.

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Public and Patient Experience

Unpicking the nature of suffering at the end of life on a 30-bedded acute older peoples’ hospital ward

The experience of suffering in end-of-life care for older people in acute hospitals is examined in a new observational study by a group of researchers from the University of Manchester. "Iatrogenic suffering at the end of life: An ethnographic study" uses reflexive analysis from a participant-observer perspective to give context to the intangible phenomenon of suffering in a clinical setting. Read the study in full here.

MSA Trust Needs Survey 2022 Analysis

MSA Trust have recently completed analysis of their second Needs Survey of people affected by MSA (Multiple System Atrophy). It was completed by 520 respondents including people living with MSA, carers and people that had previously cared for a loved one.

Of particular interest may be sections 3.3 and 3.10 which cover responses in connection with Care by Healthcare Professionals and Palliative Care/Advance Care Planning.

See a brief summary of findings and the full technical report here -

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SPPC Plan for 2023-2024

SPPC has a busy programme of work during 2023-24. You can download our annual plan here. We are always interested to receive comments and suggestions about the work we do.

Demystifying Death week

From 1-7 May, organisations and individuals across Scotland organised events to mark Demystifying Death Week. All kinds of events took place, and you can see photos from some of the events and activities here. During the week, the SPPC also revealed the findings of a pilot of the Death Literacy Index, which explores how able communities are to access and provide support around serious illness, dying, death and grief. You can read more about the findings here: Who are more death literate: bus drivers or students?

Demystifying Death Award Winners

The winners of the Demystifying Death Awards 2023 have been revealed. Actor Greg Wise and author Kathryn Mannix are among those to receive one of the awards, which celebrate pioneering work to increase understanding of death, dying and bereavement. More information about the awards, including the full list of short-listed candidates is available here: Demystifying Death Awards

New addition to SPPC Council

We are pleased to welcome to the SPPC Council Scott Mackinnon, Macmillan Partnership Programme Lead at the Scottish Ambulance Service. A full list of SPPC Council Members is available here: SPPC Council Members

SPPC Annual Conference: Posters & Exhibition Stands

The next Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care Annual Conference will take place on 22 November 2023 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. We are in the early planning stages, but plan to have opportunities for delegates to present work in the Poster Exhibition which has become an essential part of learning and sharing best practice at the conference. There will also be an opportunity to exhibit at this event so please consider contributing to this year’s conference by bringing along your publication displays/ exhibition stands. Further details, including how to apply, will be available in due course.

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Scottish Bereavement Summit Report – launch plans

The Final Report of the Scottish Bereavement Summit will be launched at the end of June. The publication of the report will be marked in the Scottish Parliament, at a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Palliative Care on 28th June at 1pm. The meeting in Parliament will be a chance to hear and discuss the Summit’s recommendations on improving experiences of bereavement in Scotland. The meeting will be a hybrid event, with both face-to-face and online places available.

Please email if you’d like to book a place at this meeting, and let her know whether your preference would be to attend face-to-face or online.

Qualitative study - Overhaul bereavement support in the wake of the pandemic

A study by the National Centre for Social Research explored 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. Detailed recommendations included improved support for bereaved people, funeral industry staff, and digitalisation and new technologies.

A summary and a link to the full report can be found here.

New website: the Good Grief Hub

Good Grief has launched the Good Grief Hub, a diverse library of resources relating to grief, bereavement and loss along with a directory of organisations currently offering support in the UK. Visit the Good Grief Hub here.

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Other News

The independent Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry launches listening project

The independent Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry has launched its listening project, "Let's Be Heard: Sharing Scotland's COVID Experience", and is inviting the public to take part. Read more and find out how to share your experiences here.

Macmillan's Enhanced Palliative and End of Life Care Learning and Development Toolkit

Macmillan’s Enhanced Palliative and End of Life Care Learning and Development toolkit offers a wide range of interactive online activities, articles, videos and tools to develop the knowledge and skills of Macmillan Professionals and the wider cancer workforce delivering care to people with palliative and end of life care needs. The toolkit offers flexible, self-paced learning that can be accessed when and where needed. The content is Enhanced Level, so is suitable for learners who wish to build on existing knowledge and experience.

The content is divided into topic areas: Pain Management, Communication, Common PEoLC Symptoms, Palliative Care Emergencies and Person-Centred Care at End of Life. Watch this short video to find out more about this resource.

To sign up to the Learning Hub visit Learning and development | Healthcare professionals | Macmillan Cancer Support.

Hospice UK Report - Being Curious and Confident

Hospice UK have published Being Curious and Confident, a new report that provides a summative evaluation of the impact and learning from a three-year Hospice UK transition programme. The programme aimed to improve the care and experiences of young adults with complex and life-limiting conditions, with a particular focus on improving the ‘transition’ process these young adults undergo when moving from children’s to adults’ palliative care services.

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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. 3 October and 7 November 2023, online. More information is available here.

Child Bereavement UK - Free places for Scotland

CBUK have a limited number of free spaces available on some courses. These are available courtesy of the Scottish Government who are subsidising the sessions. The courses available are:

Creative ways of working with bereaved children: May 9th and June 6th - Details and booking link

Pregnancy loss and death of a baby: June 23rd - Details and booking link

To claim a free place please apply the code SCOT23 when registering. The box to enter the code is at the top of the registration page once you have selected the date (click 'apply' once entered). The amount is deducted before payment. (Paid places are also available.)

Teenagers and bereavement

Organised by Child Bereavement UK. Friday 26 May 2.00pm to 5.00pm (online interactive training) - Details and booking link

St Christopher's CARE Conference - Bereavement and Loss: Time for Change

Organised by St Christopher's CARE. 21 June, Bromley. Conference exploring grief and loss post Covid-19. More information and early-bird booking 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.

A Human Rights based approach to Palliative Care: Towards Solutions for Public Health Palliative Care


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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