2014; Volume 15, No 12, December


Toolkit for the development of palliative care in the community

Prof Scott A Murray, Co-chair of the WONCA Special Interest Group in Cancer and Palliative Care and Chair of the EAPC Primary Palliative Care Task Force.

We live in exciting times for palliative care in the community. A task force of the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) has recently produced a toolkit to facilitate the development of palliative care in the community.

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) Special Interest Group in Cancer and Palliative Care has endorsed the toolkit, and highlighted it at the World Health Assembly in May 2014 as a means of integrating palliative care into primary health care, as the World Health Organization (WHO) is advocating. This toolkit will help to guide individuals and organizations worldwide that are seeking to further develop palliative care services in primary care settings.

Copies of the short toolkit in English, French and German can be downloaded free from the EAPC website . It comes with many links to documents that detail helpful national policies, practices, and tools so that patients can be identified for palliative care, and then be assessed and cared for. Countries can learn from what has worked well previously in similar countries to fast forward palliative care in the community.

The current strong WHO advocacy for palliative care in primary care and this practical toolkit should greatly encourage and help many countries to develop palliative care in the community by primary care teams. There is now an advocate for primary palliative care in more than 40 countries hoping to take this forward. Do contact me or another member of the task force if you would like any advice or support

Prof Scott A Murray
Primary Palliative Care Research Group,
University of Edinburgh.

Find out more

Read how the task force set about producing the toolkit in: Murray SA et al. Promoting palliative care in the community: Production of the primary palliative care toolkit by the European Association of Palliative Care Task Force in Primary Palliative Care, Palliat Med November 13, 2014.Published online before print November 13, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0269216314545006.

Coming up

Prof Scott Murray will be writing more about the toolkit on the EAPC blog early in 2015.

Legal aspects of palliative care

Mercy Owiti, a palliative care nurse and legal aid worker with Nyeri Hospice, Kenya, leaves an appointment with John, a cancer patient.
Svenn Torfinn – Panos for the Open Society Foundations

A recent series of articles in ehospice focuses on the development and implementation of legal services into palliative care delivery systems. The series, coordinated by the team at Open Society Foundations, has covered various aspects of legal services and human rights in palliative care in Georgia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Ukraine. Read the concluding article, Legal aspects of palliative care, and follow links to the previous articles, or visit the website of Open Society Foundations.

New evidence-based guideline on research in spiritual care

The Global Network for Spirituality and Health (GNSAH) congratulates Dr. Lucy Selman and her colleagues on their recent publication in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (JPSM) entitled ‘Research Priorities in Spiritual Care: An International Survey of Palliative Care’. This article is groundbreaking in that it provides an evidence-based guideline to direct future research in spiritual care within palliative care. Knowledge of these priority areas can guide the research subgroup of GNSAH and other investigators in this field. You can access the full text of the article here (registration or a subscription may be necessary). For more information and resources, please visit the GNSAH website.

Palliative Care Network

Kiran Bharadwaj reminds us of the many useful resources offered free of charge by the Palliative Care Network

Palliative Care Network (PCN) aims to alleviate the suffering of patients worldwide by providing open access educational materials for professionals from all disciplines of palliative care. PCN hosts the annual International Palliative Care Network Conference as one of the means to achieve this goal. The Conference is launched in November with a ‘Lecture Series’ delivered by experts in the field and a ‘Poster Exhibition’. Awards are announced in December.

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care sponsors the first, second, and third place prizes for the Poster Exhibition. Our continued collaboration with IAHPC promotes hospice and palliative care worldwide. You are encouraged to get involved – visit the 2014 International Palliative Care Network Conference.

In addition to the annual conference, PCN’s endeavors include compilations of audio interviews on various aspects of palliative care, the PCNe Library, PCN Directory of professionals collaborating globally, the Spiritual Dimensions channel, and collections of PowerPoint presentations. Materials can be downloaded for free by creating a complimentary account on the PCN Community site.

If you’re not already accessing Palliative Care Network please sign up today!

Or contact Kiran for more information.

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