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.


Health and Social Care: Winter Preparedness Plan 2023-2024

The Scottish Government has published the Health and social care: Winter preparedness plan 2023-2024. The plan represents a whole system approach to responding to a surge in demand for health and social care services and sets out actions designed to help relieve pressure points across the system. 

Value based health and care: action plan

The Scottish Government has published Value Based Health and Care: Action Plan. This plan is intended to set out actions to support health and care colleagues to practice Realistic Medicine and deliver value based health and care, by focusing on outcomes that matter to people, optimising use of health and care resources, and contributing to a more sustainable health and care system.

Scottish Parliamentary Motion on Basic Care Standards in Palliative Care - S6M-10801

Submitted by Roz McCall MP. Read in full here.

Scottish Parliamentary Motion recognising Marie Curie Services in Edinburgh and Lothian - S6M-10934

Submitted by Jeremy Balfour MP. Read in full here.

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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 highlights a few of these posters. This month, we're highlighting:

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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SPPC Annual Conference 2023

Out of the Shadows

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care Annual Conference will take place on Wednesday 22 November 2023 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 

The day will include:

  • Katherine Sleeman exploring recent progress, challenges and opportunities in illuminating and understanding people’s end of life care experiences in the UK.
  • Aileen Collier sharing how she has used participatory visual methods to identify, understand, interpret and improve upon every day palliative care.
  • Erica Borgstrom exploring how palliative care strategies are actually understood, interpreted and implemented in the real world.
  • Laura Green observing and reflecting on the suffering caused by healthcare, which is often unnoticed and unacknowledged.
  • Harvey Max Chochinov explaining an evidence-based practical approach to affirming each individual’s intrinsic worth towards the end of life.
  • Kirsty Cartin and Jane Douglas exploring what can be learnt from care homes about living well before dying well.
  • A poster exhibition, parallel sessions and opportunities to network and catch up with colleagues from across Scotland.

Download the programme here.   

You can find out more and register here.

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To Absent Friends

To Absent Friends, a people's festival of storytelling and remembrance takes place across Scotland, from 1-7 November.  The first ever To Absent Friends festival was held in 2014, and this year marks the festival's 10th anniversary. Over the years the festival has become a regular part of the calendar for all kinds of groups and communities across Scotland.  It is an integral part of the SPPC's Good Life, Good Death Good Grief  work to promote more positive cultures around death, dying, loss and care in Scotland.  Find out more about the festival below.

Library of Legends

Good Life, Good Death Good Grief and artists John Martin Fulton and Russell McGovern invite you to the Library of Legends, a public interactive art installation popping up at Potterrow Plaza, Edinburgh from 1-7 November.

The Library of Legends is a place where people can go to remember and share stories of people they have lost. It has been commissioned to mark the 10th anniversary of the To Absent Friends Festival.

All are welcome to drop in and visit the library 1-7 November, 10am to 4:30pm.

People can also contribute to the library by sending in pages by post or online from anywhere in Scotland

Follow the Library on Instagram at @library_of_legends2023

Festival Events

To Absent Friends Festival events are taking place across Scotland, organised by community groups and organisations of all kinds.

This year, events include remembrance suppers, an online writing workshop, storytelling and poetry events, a brass band concert, a puppet show, group meetups, crafting activities, musical performances, a beach walk and sea dip, and much more.

Visit the To Absent Friends 2023 event listings to find a full list of activities.

Social Media

Sharing news of To Absent Friends on social media is really helpful in building awareness of the festival.

For example, you could share a poem or memory, a photo of someone you miss or a piece of music that has special meaning for you. You could share some of the events that are taking place, help to promote the Library of Legends, or link to the online Tribute Wall or Remembrance Playlist.

If you're able to lend your support, there are social media resources available here: social media resources

All support is much appreciated and makes a real difference to the impact of the festival.

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Virtual Workshop to Inform SPPC Evidence to Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry,  6th December 3.30-5pm

SPPC will be holding an online workshop to gather perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic.  The workshop will take place on 6 December, 3.30pm - 5pm.  The outputs of the workshop will be used to inform SPPC’s response to the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry.  If you are interested to attend please contact

SPPC Response to Human Rights Bill Consultation

The SPPC has submitted a response to the Scottish Government's Human Rights Bill consultation. 

The SPPC response can be viewed here: SPPC Response to A Human Rights Bill for Scotland Consultation

The consultation itself can be viewed here: A Human Rights Bill for Scotland Consultation

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Courses and Events

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.

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


SPPC Annual Conference 2023: Out of the Shadows

Organised by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care. Wednesday 22 November 2023, Edinburgh College of Physicians. More information and registration is available here.

NHS Education for Scotland's Bereavement Education Conference 2023 - The Grief We Carry

Organised by NHS Education Scotland. Tuesday 28 November 2023, online. You can find out more here or visit the conference website to view the programme or register. Deadline for registration is 7 November 2023.

Webinar - Conversations Matter: Your role in Advance Care Planning (ACP)

Wednesday 29th November, 12:30-13:30, Macmillan Learning Hub. 

A discussion with Lee about her experience of having ACP conversations in her role as a Macmillan Link Worker from the Improving Cancer Journey Team in NHS Lothian.

CPD Conference: Delirium in Care Homes - Prevention, Assessment and Effective Management

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. Friday 1st December 2023, online.

For further information and to book your place, visit the conference website here or email

Patient Safety in Hospices

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. Wednesday 6th December 2023, online. 

For further information and to book your place, visit the conference website here or email

A Practical Guide to Effective Non Medical Prescribing in End of Life Care For Current and Aspiring Non Medical Prescribers

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. Tuesday 12th December 2023, online.

For further information and to book your place, visit the conference website here or email

Reducing & Managing Pressure Ulcers at the End of Life

Organised by Healthcare Conferences UK. Wednesday 13th December 2023, online.

For further information and to book your place, visit the conference website here or email

Advanced European Bioethics Course: “Suffering, Death and Palliative Care”

Organised by the section of Healthcare Ethics, IQ healthcare, (Radboudumc university medical centre). 12 - 15 March 2024, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. For more information please visit the website. Contact: Valesca Hulsman at

6th All Island Children’s Palliative Care Conference: "Challenging the Boundaries: Antenatal to Adulthood"

Organised by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC). 25 – 26 April 2024. The Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland. 

To view the programme, submit an abstract, or register (early bird registration opens 2 November 2023), visit the CPCC website.

Save the Date: European Grief Conference 2024

The next European Grief Conference 2024 will be held in Dublin Ireland, November 11th to 13th 2024. 

The conference is being hosted by Irish Hospice Foundation with partners Bereavement Network Europe, Danish National Center for Grief and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

More details will be added to the conference website in the coming weeks and months:  

Education and Training at Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan have a wide range of free education and training available on The Learning Hub. To access training you will need to register for an account and be logged in.

New e-learning module - Understanding and enriching agency in palliative and end of life care 

Macmillan Learning Hub.

Life-limiting illness often disrupts a person’s ability to succeed and thrive in the areas of life which are most important to them. In recognising this, we recognise that life-limiting illness often disrupts a person’s agency. This enhanced level course explores the concept of agency and draws on recent research to develop an understanding of suffering as the significant disruption to agency. You will learn how to identify new causes and forms of suffering in palliative and end-of-life care and discover practical ways to enrich agency and alleviate suffering for the people you support.

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