A webinar held on Wednesday 12th October saw the launch of the report The children’s palliative care provider of the future: A blueprint to spark scale and share innovation. The report published by the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London examines the state of Children’s Palliative Care (CPC) worldwide, and sets out an “unashamedly optimistic” vision for how to improve the levels of care for the rapidly growing number of children around the world with life-limiting conditions. The report was undertaken by the team from the Institute of Global Health Innovation with support from the International Children’s Palliative Care Network. It outlines nine critical features of CPC services, including physical, emotional, and social support for children and their families to ensure the best possible quality of life.
Jonty Roland, Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) said, “Families of children living with life-limiting conditions are the most incredible problem solvers. Staff working at the front line are also innovating daily to provide their best care. We found a tremendous amount of small-scale innovation happening across the children’s palliative care sector – the problem is that it is not being supported. Palliative care is a core part of healthcare and a human right. There are huge opportunities to close the gap in need by forming new partnerships to help develop good ideas at a local level into global solutions, which can then benefit millions of children.”
The report draws upon interviews with 51 children’s palliative care leaders across 27 countries, and provides a blueprint to spark innovation, scale current work and equip frontline providers with an essential toolkit and vision for better care.
According to the ICPCN, an estimated 21 million children and young people worldwide need access to palliative care within 8 million needing access to specialist care. However, most children in need of these specialist services never receive appropriate care, with 65 percent of countries having no known children’s palliative care provision.
The report calls for expertise and investment from organisations outside the children’s palliative care sector to help providers scale up and support these innovations. It also outlines distinct roles for governments, donors, corporations, start-ups, investors, researchers, and global health institutions. The report also lays the groundwork for the Global Treehouse Foundation, a new initiative that looks to bring untapped resources and expertise into children’s palliative care to achieve this vision. Over the coming months, the report’s authors, together with the Global Treehouse Foundation, working in collaboration with the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) will bring together groups of individuals and organisations around this vision for change focusing on collaborative projects. If you are interested in taking part, please contact email@example.com.
Alongside the team from the Institute of Global Health Innovation (Gianluca Fontana, Jonty Roland and Ivor Williams) and the Global Treehouse Foundation (Laura Dale-Harris) panellists joined the discussion during the webinar from Rachel House in Indonesia (Lynna Chandra), the Helix Centre (Ivor Williams), the ICPCN (Julia Downing) and Gabriella Lake Walker a policy advisor on children with complex needs. The discussion focused around the key elements within the report, with panellists sharing thoughts on this, and how we can take the report forward.
The CPC report comes ahead of the ICPCN’s annual awareness day on Friday 14 October. ‘Hats on for Children’s Palliative Care,’ which raises international awareness of children’s palliative care services worldwide.
The launch of the report can be watched here
Part of this article has been adapted with permission from the Imperial college website article: More innovation and funding needed to improve children’s palliative care.