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‘I’ve planned my entire funeral and so should you’ by Radhika Sanghani

An interesting article written by Radhika Sanghani and recently posted on the BBC website about funeral planning and why it’s never too early to start…

Click here



The working life of two social workers

Susan O’Malley and Sharon Owen are social workers at Bolton Hospice. Broadly speaking they provide care and support to local people with life-limiting illnesses, but here they explain the many links and services they provide for patients get the best possible care.

Read more here



Confident social work practice with people living with dementia

In May, the Department of Health launched new resources to mark Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May 2017).

The resources aim to support confident social work practice with dementia. Commissioned by the Chief Social Worker for Adults, Lyn Romeo and developed by Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA).

They build on previous Department of Health resources, broadening the application of knowledge into practice with case studies, practical guidance and tools drawing from the lived experiences of people with dementia and those who care for them. The live launch which took place in May included a webinar. For those that missed it a recording of that webinar can be accessed here.

The new open access learning resources look at the issues that people living with dementia may experience, and how social workers can develop a greater understanding of these in order to deliver good practice to support people through the different stages of dementia, from diagnosis to preparing for the end of life. The resources focus on five practice principles:

·         Start with the person

·         Maintain a relationship

·         Involve support networks

·         Uphold people’s rights

·         Work with ongoing change

The resources are aimed at social workers and those who support them to work well, such as managers and educators. They will also be useful for allied professionals, agencies and organisations, and have been designed to be accessible for the general public, particularly those who are affected by dementia.

Please share with all your networks.


Related Links

Dementia Awareness Week

Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA)


Top palliative care speakers confirmed for the St Columba’s Hospice anniversary conference, Edinburgh

Some of the top sector speakers in palliative care will gather in Edinburgh to present at the St Columba’s Hospice anniversary conference on Friday 27 October 2017.

The conference’s full programme has been released, and speakers include Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood alongside Professor Max Watson who recently joined the Hospice UK clinical team.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Marking 40 Years of Palliative Care will take place on Friday 27 October at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The full programme for the conference is now online at

Speakers include Professors Nathan Cherny, Phillip Larkin, Allan Kellehear and Brendan McCormack who will all be presenting on their various specialist areas.

Dr Derek Doyle, who was one of the founders of St Columba’s Hospice, will present on how the Hospice has changed in the four decades it has been serving its community in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Drs Duncan Brown, Barry Laird and Anna Lloyd from the Hospice will present on the Hospice’s research practices and collaboration with universities and other palliative care providers.

Dr Jo Hockley and Dr Jeremy Keen complete the line-up of speakers for the one day conference.

The conference is being organised by St Columba’s Hospice as part of a year-long programme of activity to mark 40 years since it welcomed its first patients.

Dr Erna Haraldsdottir, director of education and research at the Hospice, said: “This conference will see some of the key leaders in palliative care and person-centred care coming together. Attending the conference is a unique opportunity to discover the most recent developments in palliative care and understand how these will shape future care for people affected by long term terminal illness.”

More information and online registration is available through the Hospice’s website at (click here).  Registration costs £95 per person, or you can register four people for the price of three.

The conference is aimed at anyone working in or studying health and social care and is approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom for CPD five credits.


Dying Matters: Talk about it, palliative care expert says

Families and even health care workers need to get used to talking about death more to make it easier, a palliative care specialist has said.

Hospice consultant nurse Dinah Hickish said demystifying fears could help make dying feel like a “normal process”.

Ms Hickish, based St Kentigern Hospice, St Asaph, Denbighshire, spoke out to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week. Read more


Why social workers are marching 100 miles in protest against austerity

BASW along with people who use social services, have organised a march from Birmingham to Liverpool to call for an end to the UK government’s austerity polices. Over seven days, starting on 19 April, social workers, service users, carers and others will walk almost 100 miles, visiting food banks and social care settings under threat from funding cuts along the route, to hear from those whose lives have been devastated by austerity.


NCPC and Hospice UK boards agree to begin process of merger

On Wednesday 29th March, the trustee boards of both Hospice UK and the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) agreed to work towards the merger of the two organisations. The process of due diligence and formal merger agreement is being taken forward from today.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, will become the Acting CEO of NCPC from May 31st during the interim period before a merger is agreed. Hospice UK also announced that Claire Henry MBE, current Chief Executive of NCPC, will be joining the Hospice UK team as Director of Improvement and Transformation in June this year. 


Talking with your child about your cancer

London Cancer and the Fruit Fly Collective have jointly produced an animated film to give advice to patients on telling their children about their cancer diagnosis.  Although it is aimed at patients in early stages of an illness, the principles apply throughout and it may be of interest to palliative care social workers as well.  Thank you to Peter Southern at St Barts for sharing this with us.

The video can be found using the following link –  Telling your child you have cancer video



Dying To Care – a report into social care at the end of life

Becky Chaddock, Vice Chair, has been busy helping to produce a national document for Scotland with Marie Curie, MND and Hospice UK which aims to highlight the challenges of social care access at end of life.

The document has received lots of great coverage across the key Scottish media including this one in The Evening Times.

To read the full report simply click here