Irish Hospice Foundation development grants call for applications

hospital corridor The Irish Hospice Foundation’s annual call for development grants is now open for 2013.

‘Grant scheme A’ aims to support innovative service developments in palliative and hospice care. Applicants projects should enhance palliative services by  improving access, developing staff or service capacity or enhance patient involvement and choice in care.

Further details on this grant scheme and on application eligibility criteria are available HERE

Forum on end-of-life and launch of the ‘Think Ahead’ campaign – Podcasts

 On Wednesday (October 12th) the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Forum on end of life hosted its annual forum in Croke Park.

The day also saw the launch of the ‘Think Ahead’ campaign which aims to provide the public with a method of discussing and recording their end of life preferences and wishes. You can find out more about the project and fill in your own wishes on the ‘Think Ahead’ form’ on the new site HERE

For anyone who wasnt in attendance at the forum in Croke park you can listen to podcasts from the morning here

  • Recording of the morning session including the Mary Holland memorial lecture by Conor O Clery and response from Prof. Tom Inglis  – Listen HERE
  • Recording of the Mid morning session featuring the launch of the ‘Think Ahead’ website and address by an Taoiseach Enda KennyHERE (Click ‘download’  then ‘download anyway’ when link opens)
  • Recording of the afternoon session of the Forum on End-of-life Croke Park October 12 2011. Features feedback and audience questions on workshops, summary of the day by Ita Mangan and closing address by Irish Hospice Foundation board chairman Michael O Reilly. LISTEN HERE

Smart research – Smart phone apps in palliative care & bereavement

Continuing the theme of smart libraries and smart research tools here are just a few smart phone apps to make keeping up to date with new research in palliative care and bereavement even easier.

PubMed Apps – If you regularly conduct searches for medical literature online you are likely to be familiar with PubMed the National Library of Medicines Medline citation database. PubMed has several smart phone apps both free and fee based.

PubMed on Tap – This app has both a free and a paid version. Pubmed on Tap is the paid version and costs €2.39 while on tap lite is the free version. Both allow for PubMed searching and include reference storage, PDF retrieval from the web, links to full text articles will open in your phone’s browser and both apps integrate the advanced search features of the PubMed database. Of the free PubMed apps  PubMed lite is probably the best though search results are limited to ten items so if you plan on making extensive use of PubMed on your phone it may be worth opting for the full version of PubMed on Tap.

British Medical Journal Logo Like PubMed, The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has a number of apps catering to different specialities from disease specific apps (diabetes, depression) to apps for medical students and a doctors toolkit. Of the BMJ apps, the Best Practice Decision support app is relevant to all allied health professionals. It provides a searchable database of guidelines, evidence and symptom details and facilitates quick access to expert opinion and best practice guides across medical disciplines.

Journal RSS – This is a really useful free app which enables RSS feeds from selected journal publications direct to your phone. You can select journal titles from a range of publishers like Elsevier, Oxford and Nature and  receive RSS updates and table of content alerts.

PalliMed Blog app

PalliMed is a blog dedicated to providing information, research reviews and commentary on Palliative, End-of-Life and hospice care. Its contributors are palliative care physicians and the blog is a valuable resource for new publications and insight on end-of-life issues. The Pallimed app is free  and is available for both iphone and andriod.

Similarly the GeriPal blog aims to provide up to date insight and research reviews on palliative care and geriatrics. The Geripal app is free and provides mobile access to the blog. This is a particularly useful app for anyone with a particular interest in eldercare.

Bereavement workshops – 2011 Brochure now available

The brochure for the Irish Hospice Foundation’s bereavement workshop schedule for 2011 is now available. The workshop programme begins on January 20th and runs until June 30th and is aimed at professionals or volunteers working with bereaved people.  Workshops qualify for post registration category 1 approval from An Bord Altranais

Topics new to the schedule for 2011 include; Schools & loss and Communicating in difficult circumstances for non-clinical staff.

Full details and descriptions of all featured workshops and booking details are available in the Brochure


Irish Hospice Foundation/RCSI Certificate in Children & loss

The Irish Hospice Foundation is now accepting applications for the October intake of its Certificate  in Children and loss. The certificate which runs from October 2010 to April 2011 is accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. Classes which are held in the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Nassau street offices take place on the last Friday of each month with some Thursdays also timetabled (see the course schedule HERE for a list of attendance dates)

The course aims to equip participants with a practical, experiential and theoretical framework for  working with children facing bereavement and loss. Course content includes;

  • Child development theory & loss theory
  • children’s grief in the family context
  • Younger children & adolescents and loss
  • Parental separation & loss
  • Therapeutic interventions with young children
  • Group work with children
  • Working with children experiencing traumatic loss
  • Using creative arts

The course would be of relevance to individuals working in child support both in a professional and non-professional capacity and past pupils have included teachers, social workers, psychologists and nursing professionals. The certificate is approved for 12 CPD credits for members of the Psychological Society of Ireland and an Bord Altranis.

Further details and application forms can be found HERE or by contacting

Research in End-of-life & Palliative care – 2 new articles

Two recent articles spotlight some of the issues arising for palliative and end-of-life care researchers both in conducting searches for literature and conference abstracts and also in delivering their own research output.

In ‘Not published, not indexed: issues in generating and finding hospice and palliative care literature‘  published in the current Journal of Palliative Medicine Tieman, Abernethy and Currow address the challenges in conducting definitive searches for palliative care literature and conference abstracts. Their findings indicated a conversion rate of conference abstracts to journal publications of just 15.9%

Anyone reading Tieman et al’s article should note their reference to the Australian site Care Search – a resource well worth keeping an eye on as it provides updates on new publications and research in palliative care and bereavement.

In ‘Delivering research in end-of-life care;  problems, pitfalls and future priorities’ in the current issue of Palliative Medicine, Bennett, Davies & Higginson review challenges to presenting end-of-life care literature in light of shifting health care policy and priorities.  Members of the Therese Brady library can obtain full text copies of this article by contacting the library.

Deathbed Phenomena – Study in Irish Hospices

‘Deathbed phenomena can be described as a range of transcendental experiences, perceptions and events that can occur close to the time of death…’

In THIS article in today’s Irish Medical Times Dr Una MacConville of the Centre for Death & Society at the University of Bath and Dr Regina Mc Quillan, palliative Medicine Consultant, present some of the findings and insights of their research into Deathbed Phenomena (DBP) in an Irish Hospice setting. Findings indicate a contrasting reaction to DBP in Irish hopsices in comparison to those outlined by similar studies in the UK. 

Dr MacConville & Dr Mc Quillan are continuing research in this area with an Irish Hospice Foundation funded study into healthcare professionals experiences of such phenomena in a variety of palliative and end-of-life environments.

Music Therapy at end of life – Cochrane Review article

Creative therapies are increasingly being employed by Hospices to ease physical, psychological and emotional symptoms at end of life.

THIS Cochrane review article examines the effectiveness of Music Therapy with  hospice patients with the objective of indicating benefits of treatment approaches incorporating music therapy versus traditional treatment. The study illustrates the limited amount of data on the outcomes of music therapy and highlights the need for further research on creative arts therapies in end-of-life care.

Happy New Year – some conference dates for 2010

Time to start filling up your calender

Happy New year to all!

The cold snap may have meant a slow start to the new year for anyone buried under what passes for headline grabbing amounts of snow around here but 2010 is upon us. To help you get your calender filled up, here are a few palliative and hospice care related conferences and events to think about in the coming months.

The UK’s National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) have a packed schedule of events lined up for the first few months of the year;

Jan 28thClearer thinking on sedation‘ Prospero House, London – Presenting case evidence and current practice guidence on sedation at end of life

24th February – ‘Better investment, better dying; progress with measurement and collaborative commissioning for end of life care’ – Prospero House, London – This conference will present and expand upon the progress of the NCPC’s work with the National Audit Office and the NHS National End of life Care Programme.

-For more details and updates on other NCPC events go to their EVENTS listing page

23rd FebruarySt Christopher’s Hospice, London ‘Improving end of life care using a competency framework’ A one day seminar on developing and improving competencies for palliative care in acute, hospital and community settings.

A little bit closer to home,  Our Lady’s Hospice in conjunction with the Irish Hospice Foundation facilitate Moving Points in Palliative Care – Crossing Boundaries – March 3rd & 4th

This conference will be hosted at Our Lady’s Hospice’s Education and Research Centre and aims to;

  • Address challenges faced by health care providers in responding to palliative care needs
  • Evaluate the management, planning and delivery of palliative care in various settings
  • Facilitate and encourage discussion on the development of disease standards to meet the palliative care needs of patients and their families

Further details on booking can be obtained via Our Lady’s Hospice’s website and the full conference programme is downloadable HERE