Dr Andrew Fletcher
An upcoming conference will gather experts to talk about the knowledge and skills needed to deliver quality palliative care to patients with incurable conditions other than cancer.
St Catherine’s Hospice near Preston is hosting the Update in Non-malignant Disease conference in May, welcoming professionals from fields including neurology, respiratory medicine, cardiology, nephrology and gastroenterology.
The conference is aimed at health professionals interested in widening their knowledge and skills in palliative and end of life care for patients with non-malignant disease.
St Catherine’s Medical Director Dr Andrew Fletcher said it was important because the number of patients professionals look after with these kinds of conditions is set to increase. He said:
“Analysis shows that the numbers of people dying in community settings with complex care needs such as dementia, co-morbidities and frailty is rising.
“Professionals who are looking after palliative patients are going to be seeing those with non-malignant diseases more often, so it’s vital they are equipped with the expertise and insight to help them provide better palliative care, alongside condition-specific treatments. It’s about ensuring people facing conditions like heart failure, motor neurone disease, respiratory disease and dementia receive the same opportunities to access good quality palliative care as those with a malignant disease.
“At the same time, analysis of death rates and places of death has shown that if current trends continue, the number of deaths at home will increase by more than 100 per cent by 2040, and care home deaths by nearly 90 per cent over the same period. This highlights the importance of good quality palliative care being practised outside of hospice and hospital settings, by all kinds of health and care professionals.
“With this conference, we want to put the spotlight on these issues, sharing specialised knowledge and offering practical advice and professional insight into how palliative care can help professionals best meet the needs of their patients – whatever their diagnosis, and wherever they are being cared for.”
Joining Dr Fletcher on the conference programme will be St Catherine’s speciality doctor Dr Alison Bacon – who will present about depression and anxiety in palliative care – and consultant Dr Claire Capewell, who works for both St Catherine’s and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, and will present about motor neurone disease.
For more information visit St Catherine’s Hospice