Access, equity, integration and innovation in palliative care

Categories: Education.

BuildCARE stands for: Building Capacity, Access, Rights and Empowerment, and it stated aim is to create a ‘sea change’ in the way palliative and end-of-life care is regarded, implemented and prioritised internationally.

The conference was entitled: Access, equity and innovation in Palliative Care: Can we really afford to deliver quality for all in the future? Excellent presentations by speakers from health economists to members of the public addressed questions of quality of care, how to put policy into practice and funding models and introduced innovations in models to improve access. The speakers provided insights into the problem and suggested solutions informed by their diverse knowledge base.

Dr Jonothan Koffman began the presentations, setting out the challenges faced by palliative care researchers and asking: ‘Where are the hot spots and why does this matter?’ referring to the global terrain of access and equity in palliative care.

Professor Diane Meier shared successful advocacy and public awareness campaigns by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and the National Palliative Care Research Center in the USA.

Dr Karen Ryan, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, presented a case study of putting policy into practice in Ireland and asking whether this really works.

Dr Julia Riley, Head of Department of Palliative Medicine, The Royal Marsden and The Royal Brompton Hospital examined palliative care in acute hospital settings in the UK.

Professor Charles Normand, Edward Kennedy Professor of Health Policy & Management, Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Fliss Murtagh, Clinical Senior Lecturer, King’s College London, Cicely Saunders Institute, addressed health economics and funding models of palliative care.

Julie Kinley, Nurse Consultant for care homes, St Christopher’s Hospice, presented the results of work implementing the Gold Standards Framework in UK care homes.

Prof Irene Higginson, Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute and Taja Ferguson, Project co-ordinator, Ichan School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York each discussed models of palliative care in intensive care.

Dr Barbara Daveson, Cicely Saunders International Lecturer in Health Services Research in Palliative Care, King’s College London, Cicely Saunders Institute and Kirstie Newson, a member of the public and daughter of a palliative care service user spoke about the benefits of involving service users in research about palliative care throughout the entire process.

Following the conference, Professor Stein Kaasa addressed the audience at the Cicely Saunders Institute, as well as people attending the lecture remotely at sites in Ireland, the USA and other parts of the UK on the topic: ‘Integration of palliative care into public health and cancer care: a vision for the future. Prof Kaasa shared the work of the faculty of Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in integrating palliative care as a component of care in all patient care pathways where it would be beneficial.

He also shared a groundbreaking idea for remote patient consolation, using mobile technology such as iPads to conduct pain and symptom assessment.  

Look out for more articles based on the conference proceedings on ehospice international edition in the weeks to come.

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