Health and social care professionals and providers from across the UK came together for a day of insight, learning and networking when St Clare Hospice held its second Palliative Care Conference.
Almost 150 delegates from hospitals, care homes, hospices and other settings attended the event to hear from expert speakers on topics around this year’s theme of ‘Placing the person at the centre of their care’.
Dr Qamar Abbas, Medical Director at St Clare Hospice, said: “St Clare Hospice has been actively involved in teaching and training since 2004, with a commitment to work with our partners to improve professional knowledge of palliative and end-of-life care and confidence in its delivery at all levels.
“Our 2023 conference built on the success of our inaugural event last year, once again bringing together people from specialist palliative care services, non-clinical colleagues and non- specialist colleagues to exchange ideas, insights and experiences.”
The 2023 plenary speakers were:
- Award-winning Professor Erica Borgstrom, a senior lecturer at The Open University who specialises in researching end-of-life care from anthropological and sociological perspectives and spoke about realising the Ambitions Framework for Palliative and End- of-Life Care.
- Professor Stephen Barclay, a professor of palliative care at the University of Cambridge, who debated the reasons why palliative care learning and education is vital for everyone working in health and social care; and
- Revd. Dr Peter Speck, a visiting Senior Lecturer at the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London, who discussed the spiritual aspects of distress in end-of-life care.
One of the highlights of the conference was a powerful performance by Haylo, a two-woman theatre company that presented its play Nothing Out of the Ordinary, an exploration of the difficulties in coping with decision making, multiple diagnoses and complications in end-of-life care.
Topics covered in the parallel sessions ranged from symptom management and psychological support, to amplifying patient and carer voices and Compassionate Neighbours.
Dr Abbas said: “The feedback we’ve received has been incredibly positive, demonstrating the value of giving delegates the opportunity to participate in insightful conversation, make new connections and come away with fresh ideas and approaches to implement within their own workplace.
“We would like to thank all our speakers and delegates for contributing to such a successful day. In sharing our passion for exceptional, person-centred palliative care we can ensure the respect and autonomy of patients approaching the end of their life is at the heart of clinical practice.”
The 2023 conference was sponsored by Daniel Robinson and Sons Funeral Directors, Dermal Topical Innovations, Galvany Pharma, Accora and Sandoz.
The third St Clare Palliative Conference takes place on Friday 10th October 2025. You can register your interest here http://www.stclarehospice.org.uk/conference.
Lead Photo: (left to right) St Clare CEO Sarah Thompson, Prof Stephen Barclay, Prof Erica Borgstrom, St Clare Medical Director Dr Qamar Abbas
St Clare Hospice is a charity providing specialist palliative care for people living with terminal or life-limiting illnesses across West Essex and East Herts border. We care for patients and their families, providing physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual support, and ensuring they have timely access to skilled, compassionate and sensitive care in a place of their choice. Our services are free of charge to those who need our care, but cost around £5 million a year to run. With limited NHS funding we need to fundraise the majority of this each year through donations and other voluntary sources.