Rehabilitation in palliative care: contemporary opportunities

Categories: Care and Education.

This summer St Christopher’s CARE is offering all health and social care professionals committed to leading a truly holistic model of palliative care, the chance to come together for a one-day conference aimed at maximising each person’s quality of life.

Rehabilitation in palliative care: contemporary opportunities, on 1 July, will bring together Allied Health Professionals (AHP)s, service providers and clinical leads to shape the future of this approach to care for people at the end of life.

This in-person conference will also see the launch of an updated model to support Rehabilitative Palliative Care: Enabling People to Live Actively Until They Die – the 2015 publication by St Christopher’s Chief Executive, Heather Richardson and Rebecca Tiberini. This new adaption acknowledges the needs of the growing elderly frail population and the role rehabilitation can play in their care.

Helena Talbot-Rice, Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Consultant Lead, St Christopher’s, said: “We’re looking to draw together delegates from a range of disciplines working for organisations dedicated to making palliative rehabilitation central to their current and future service.

“I hope delegates leave the conference with a renewed energy and excitement. The aim is that they also get up to speed with the latest research and develop new connections with a new network of like-minded professionals.”

COVID-19 and a number of other factors have seen a greater focus on the need for this holistic approach. This includes the strong evidence of its value to improving the functionality and related quality of life for people living into old age with frailty. The pandemic has also highlighted the shift in attitudes towards agency and independence.

The rehabilitative palliative care model is built on the premise of collaboration with the individual – marrying their expertise in self and with the clinical knowledge of professionals in palliative care.

Delegates will be able to catch up on the latest developments and research, learn about the response during COVID-19 and consider how to work more collaboratively to develop, enhance and embed the rehabilitation ethos into service delivery.

Speakers presenting this assessment of the past, present and future of this approach include Rebecca Tiberini, Strategy and Integration Director, St Michael’s Hospice and Matthew Maddocks, Joanne Bayly and Lucy Fettes, all of Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation.

The second half of the day will be given over to putting the morning’s learning into practice across a range of participatory workshops with time for reflection and action planning. These will draw on the expertise of St Christopher’s staff from the Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Teams and cover a wide variety of topics including:  gyms and exercise promotion, moving day hospice to a community action model, taking rehab into care homes, nutrition and risk, setting up therapeutic groups and dealing with the psychological adjustment to living with a life limiting condition.

The conference will also feature an exhibition of posters focused on the theme of contemporary opportunities for rehabilitation in palliative care. For more information about how to submit a poster, by 17 May, contact

Previous participants have enjoyed the mix of the academic and clinical application. One delegate from the most recent conference said: “It highlighted the importance of regularly evaluating my own practice in order to deliver the most up to date care. I found it particularly useful hearing about different concepts of palliative rehabilitation.”

Helena Talbot-Rice added: “It’s about bringing all the different skills together to create an attitude of respect for a person to make their own choices about how they live their final years and months – focussing on making what’s possible a reality and helping them live life to the full.”

If you want to influence change and explore more contemporary opportunities for practice, book your place by 1 May to secure the early bird offer of £99 (full price £150).


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