Cumbrian Hospices join forces for conference on pain management

Categories: Education.

It is evident that Cumbria is one of the most beautiful counties in England in the way its lakes and mountains have inspired generations of artists and poets, and in its flourishing international tourist industry.  

However living and working in Cumbria means acclimatising to its size and the fact that attending education just about anywhere else in England involves a journey. Usually a very long journey. So if Cumbrian professionals do not want to spend our lives travelling it is imperative we create our own opportunities to learn and share.

The Cumbrian Hospice Alliance consists of three Hospices:  Eden Valley, St John’s and St Mary’s, and two Hospice at Home services:  Carlisle & North Lakeland and West Cumbria.  Since 2013 our collaboration to improve local end of life care has included regular Cumbrian Hospices’ Conferences.

In 2013 our first, “Ethics in End of Life Care”, included sessions on assisted dying and the difficulties of palliative decision making in dementia. Gen Kelsang Lhamo, a Buddist nun from the local Manjushri Centre, stimulated debate with a talk on living meaningfully and dying joyfully.  Although a Friday conference, the topics proved so engaging almost everyone stayed right to the end of the plenary.

The second conference in 2014, “End Of Life Care For All: Challenges And Choices”, took “Deciding Right” as its theme to showcase the benefits of advance planning. This time discussion ranged from Deprivation of Liberty to the practicalities of the cessation of non-invasive ventilation.

A hard-hitting session on Compassionate Communities from the internationally acclaimed Allan Kellehear came second only to the personal stories from families of people with MND;  moving, inspiring and shaming us in equal measures.    

This year’s conference on 13 October 2017, “Make It Go Away; the Challenge of Pain” will explore physiological and psychological perspectives on pain before looking at its diagnosis and treatment for those with specific needs, including autism and historical substance abuse. In a topical finale to the day we will consider practical ways to promote resilience in staff working with pain.  

Yet again the conference is on a Friday, making it easy to combine with a weekend visit to the Lakes. Due to consistently positive feedback places sell out fast so if you do not want to miss out we would suggest the Early Bird.

For more information visit St Mary’s Hospice Conference page

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