On Thursday 16th September the Children’s Palliative Care Webinar series being run by the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) in conjunction with the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) and the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) was launched. The series is based around the book ‘Children’s Palliative Care: An International Case-Based Manual’ published by Springer and endorsed by ICPCN. Sessions will go through the themes of the book represented by the 22 chapters, with future presentations being based upon case studies, with time for discussion and cross-cultural learning. Cases will be presented by one of the authors of the different chapters, with the panel discussion involving all those involved as available. It is hoped that the sessions will be practical and helpful for practitioners across a range of settings. Robust discussion will be encouraged and there will be time for what we hope will be rich, engaging exchanges including the participants.
The first session included the launch of the book ‘Children’s Palliative Care: An International Case-Based Manual’. Mike Palfreman, Co-Chair of ICPCN was joined by Nathalie Lhorset-Poulain, Executive Editor for Spinger Nature who worked with ICPCN on the production of the book. Springer Nature are the largest academic book publisher in the world, with books covering all research areas from science, technology and medicine to the humanities and social sciences. The Nursing programme brings together up-to-date resources from trusted authors working around the world in nursing clinical practice and research. Along with the children’s palliative care manual, this series included a book on Neonatal Palliative Care for Nurses, edited by Alex Mancini, Jayne Price and Tara Kerr Elliott. The book offers an international case-based clinical focus, employing a multi-disciplinary and international emphasis both in terms of provision of care and contributing authors with contributions from 55 authors from around the world. Springer are providing chapter 3 on children’s palliative care across a range of conditions, settings and resources as a free download until October 13th 2021. The book is available in both print and ebook versions for any devices.
Following the launch of the book, Prof Julia Downing presented an update on global children’s palliative care looking at the need, gaps, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Serious Health-related Suffering (SHS). The update gave an overview of the global situation on children’s palliative care, the need for such services and the gaps, and how data can help in our advocacy efforts. The importance of global issues was highlighted, through the Sustainable Development Goals, UHC, The Declaration of Astana (Primary health care), The Lancet Commission report on Alleviating the Access Abyss in palliative care and pain relief – an imperative of UHC, the World Health Assembly Resolution on Palliative care, along with the Covid-19 pandemic. Challenges to the development of children’s palliative care were discussed, along with how these can be overcome through the WHO Foundation measures for a palliative care services (1) policy (2) drug availability (3) Education (4) Implementation and (5) Research. Examples were given in each of the areas from around the world, along with some of the key ways of overcoming challenges in each of these areas. There was recognition that whilst there is still a long way to go in the development of children’s palliative care globally, there have been many developments and it is exciting to hear of all the work that is being done. The time is right for pushing forward children’s palliative care. The Global health agenda provides opportunities, stakeholder engagement and collaboration is key, and we have the support of the World Health Organization and the Director General Dr Tedros and the profile of palliative care has been raised through the pandemic. Finally, Prof Downing encouraged participants to join ICPCN if they are not yet members.
Following a short time for questions, the session closed with a reminder of the next webinar taking place on the 21st October at 1pm UK time (Register here), World Hospice And Palliative Care Day being celebrated on Saturday 9th October with a theme of ‘Leave No One Behind: Equity in Access to Palliative Care’, and #HatsOn4CPC Day on Friday 8th October 2021. 206 people attended the webinar from at over 53 countries and many more have said that they were unable to join live but will watch it via the website. The recording of the webinar and more information about the series can be found on the ICPCN website.