Palliative Care for all – Practice and Service Development project update now available

The Irish Hospice Foundation’s (IHF) Palliative Care for All programme, aims to extend palliative care interventions to non malignant life limiting illnesses.

Palliative care for all report 2008

Through this programme partnerships have been developed with a range of organisations to develop and deliver palliative support for diseases like Heart Failure, Advanced respiratory failure, Advance Neurological Illness and Dementia.

The latest update on these projects outlining  the activity of practice & service development projects addressing end-of-life care for people with dementia is now available.  The activities of the other aspects of the Palliative Care for All Programme are also outlined.

Palliative care for all communique July 2014

    Click to access the update HERE 

Free access to top ten Palliative & Supportive Care articles

Palliative & Supportive care Journal Cover

If you are just getting back into work stride after holidays, why not ease back with some reading.

Top Ten Cited Articles

The Journal of Palliative & Supportive Care is currently offering free access to its top ten most cited articles. The access is available until the end of August and titles cover a wide range of issues in Palliative and end-of-life care including advance directive uptake and family bereavement.

To access these articles go to the Palliative & Supportive Care site HERE 

Irish Hospice Foundation’s new report highlights deficits in access to Palliative care

Access to palliative care services and place of death in Ireland

The Irish Hospice Foundation this week launched the second report in its perspectives series ‘Access to Specialist Palliative Care Services and Place of Death in Ireland; What the Data tells us‘. The report, completed by Eugene Murray based on his research with additional analysis by Dr. Kathy McLoughlin and Sharon Foley, indicated a number of inequalities in access to palliative services in Ireland. Some core findings of the research were;

  • That hospice deficits impact where people die – areas with limited access to a hospice have more cancer deaths in acute hospital
  • An estimated 2,500 patients each year are denied access to hospice inpatient care because of lack of services in their area 

The findings emerged from an examination of data from four sources over two years. Data was sourced from the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) Minimum Data Set for Palliative Care and HSE national and regional population statistics from 2011 along with the National Cancer Registry and the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry from 2010.  This research took an ecological approach bringing together broad population data to explore trends and illustrate areas for further research.

The Irish Hospice Foundation has now called on the government to prioritize the development of a broad end of life strategy.

The full report can be read HERE  

Palliative Care Research in Ireland

The All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care have just released a new systematic review of palliative care research conducted in Ireland over the ten year period between 2002 /2012.

The review identifies a number of  themes under which research articles have been published in the time period including, symptoms and settings, bereavement, disease groups and communication.

The review indicates a significant increase in peer-reviewed articles on palliative care in Ireland, particularly in the last five years . It also indicates a preference for needs analyses over outcome measurement research  and a need for further collaboration across institutions.

The full report including appendices with summaries of articles can be accessed online HERE. For further details of Irish research in Palliative care, end-of-life and bereavement  you can browse the Irish Hospice Foundation’s library catalogue listings of Irish Research HERE 

All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care New Clinical Research Fellowships

All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care LogoThe All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care has announced four new clinical research fellowships, of €10,000 each which will be available to health and social care researchers.

The fellowships are targeted towards health and social care professionals currently working in clinical practice. Through the fellowships the institute aims to assist the development of small-scale research projects in areas related to palliative care, such as; 

  • Symptom management
  • Specific patient population groups research
  • Health service research 
  • Research to inform policy and practice

It is intended these fellowships would facilitate the development or continuation of  projects like; Systematic reviews, Feasibility or pilot study or developing, a research proposals for funding.  Further information and applications details are available on the AIIHPC website 

All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care Ph.D. Studentship in Palliative and End of Life Care

All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care LogoApplications are invited for a new PhD Studentship in Palliative and End-of-Life Care through the school of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.

The studentship is funded by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care and the Health Research Board and it aims to facilitate the recipient to conduct research into provision and challenges in access to palliative services for people with intellectual disabilities who have life-limiting or terminal conditions.

Applicants  should have a background in nursing, psychology or social sciences with strong research and communication skills.

Further details on the studentship, along with application details are available HERE  

Palliative care for all – Conference podcasts & interviews

Dr Scott Murray addressing attendees at the ‘Palliative care for all; bridging the gap for all those with life limiting conditions’ conference on September 14th

‘Palliative care for all; bridging the gap for those with life limiting illness’ took place on Friday September 14th in the Royal College of Physicians.

The conference was the first of its kind in Ireland and brought together the findings of the Irish Hospice Foundation action research projects which examined palliative care pathways for patients with advanced respiratory disease, end stage heart failure and dementia.

Speaking at the conference, which drew a crowd of over 170 delegates,  Professor Scott Murray of the Primary Palliative Care Research Group which is based in the Centre for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh  said that General Practitioners need to stop treating the disease and take a holistic approach to caring for patients with life limiting conditions.

Conference presentations, workshop details and podcast interviews with presenters are available on the Irish Hospice Foundation website HERE   

Dealing with grief in the workplace – Lunch & Learn Series

The Irish Hospice Foundation’s annual series of lunchtime seminars on handling grief in the workplace will run from February 7th until April 3rd.

The ‘lunch & learn’ series is aimed at managers, HR personnel or anyone supporting recently bereaved colleagues.

This year two new seminars; Communication Skills for Managers around Loss
and Grief and Thriving and staying healthy when working with grief and loss (self & organisational care for staff) have been included to address the wide-ranging impact of grief in the workplace. The series brochure, along with booking details is available HERE

In addition to the practical training on the day, participants will be given access to the Irish Hospice Foundation’s e-learning course to provide additional support material and an online training accompaniment to the seminar.

In further development of its guidance material on grief in the workplace, the Irish Hospice Foundation, along with Console will launch a Guide for employers on responding to suicide in the workplace’ on January 31st. The report will act as a practical resource to develop understanding and coping skills for organisations faced with the effects of suicide. Copies of the report and further information will be available on the Irish Hospice Foundation website after the official launch on the 31st.

New study links bereavement and heart attack risk

It is well accepted that the mental health impact of bereavement can be significant and far-reaching.

Evidence of the physical effect of recent bereavement is also being increasingly built up. Research published last year by Buckley et al in the journal Heart, Lung & Circulation took the evidence further, highlighting changes in blood pressure post bereavement which could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

New research published last week by Mostofsky et al in the journal Circulation presents findings of a study surveying 1,985 people following hospital admission for heart attack. Of the cohort 270 had experienced the loss of a significant person within six months of their heart attack with 19 experiencing a cardiac incident within 24 hours of the loss of their loved one.

While the findings do not suggest that grief presents an acute or common risk for cardiac incident it does highlight an increased need for vigilance in the initial weeks and months following a bereavement and the need for sustained physical and emotional support for the grieving.

Primary Palliative Care in Ireland – New report launched

Author of the report, Marie Lynch; Development manager Irish Hospice Foundation (L) pictured with Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley

The Irish Hospice Foundation last week launched  its new report Primary Palliative Care in Ireland: Identifying improvements in primary care to support the care of those in their last year of life”.

The report, a collaboration between the Irish Hospice Foundation, the HSE and the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is the work of the Primary Palliative Care Steering Committee which was established in 2010 to embed palliative care in primary care settings.

Speaking at the launch of the report, chairperson of the Primary Palliative Care Steering Committee Dr Paul Gregan, acknowledged that with more than 90% of the last year of life spent at home, care for patients nearing the end of their lives is provided predominantly in a primary care environment. A recording of report author Marie Lynch, development manager with the Irish Hospice Foundation addressing the launch is available HERE 

In order to identify supports and work towards a formal framework for primary palliative care the Primary Palliative Care (PPC) programme conducted a survey in ten HSE Local Health offices during 2010. Survey findings outlined in the report indicate areas for skills development, service development and education. Some of the key findings from respondents include;

  •  A desire for enhanced communication skills for interacting with patients and families at end-of-life
  • Development of patient information transfer systems
  • Improvement of out of hours services
  • Training in end-of-life care

Taking the survey findings on board the programme now moves into the implementation phase.

You can download the report in full HERE or obtain a hard copy by contacting the Irish Hospice Foundation  on 01 6755975