The National Museum of Wales, in conjunction with Cardiff University, hosted two days of learning to celebrate the silver jubilee of the University’s palliative care course.
For the past 25 years, the Cardiff University course has actively developed and supported palliative care pioneers around the world, helping them gain and improve the skills they need to alleviate the suffering of millions of patients and families.
More than 60 past graduates attended the event, while messages of congratulations poured in from countless others who could not be there in person.
A high quality programme saw presenters challenging accepted palliative care doctrines, such as the uncritical use of morphine for pain control, and addressing topics such as social media and interacting with the press.
Delegates from Serbia, Singapore, Tanzania and Holland shared how they had used their learning from the course to roll out palliative care in their countries and to share this learning with others.
Through the work of graduates like these, the Cardiff University palliative care course has profoundly impacted on the lives and deaths of millions of patients and their families around the world.
Dr Fiona Rawlinson, who organised the event, said: “It has been an inspiration reconnecting with colleagues from around the world and hearing about their ongoing work and the impact that education has had on their professional development. At the end of all of the education, there is a patient and family or carers who will benefit. It has been an exciting and energising two days, but it won’t stop here, there is still a lot of work to continue.”
Baroness Ilora Finlay, life peer in the UK’s House of Lords and Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University, added: “These doctors have changed the face of dying around the world. They have used their learning to change attitudes and teach others. Millions now live and die well – millions of patients and their families who previously would have suffered alone in hopeless despair. Some of these doctors have had to get their country’s laws changed to get pain medication to those in need. Their courage and dedication is awe inspiring.”