Welcome to The Danish Corner – Meet Danish palliative care professionals at the EAPC World Congress in Copenhagen

EAPC DenmarkA non-profit stand at the EAPC Congress in Copenhagen will demonstrate integrated multidisciplinary palliative care by a joined-up group of professionals in Denmark. Mai-Britt Guldin, Clinical Psychology Specialist, Senior Researcher in The Palliative Care Team, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, explains.

Mai-Britt Guldin

Mai-Britt Guldin

On 8 May the 14th EAPC World Congress opens in Copenhagen. It is with great pleasure and much anticipation that the Danish professional field of palliative care welcomes delegates from across the world to the Congress. We hope you’ll visit our non-profit stand, The Danish Corner, which aims to demonstrate our efforts for interdisciplinary teamwork in daily practice. This is the place to meet Danish palliative care professionals and enjoy a decent cup of coffee!

Building bridges in the multidisciplinary professional field
During the planning of the congress, we had a vision to present the professional field of palliative care in Denmark collectively. And what better way to present it, and to get to know colleagues from all over the world, than by an integrated multidisciplinary stand at the congress. The Danish Corner stand has been organised collaboratively by all three Danish EAPC membership organisations: the Danish Association for Palliative Medicine, Danish Nurses in Palliative Care and the Danish Psychological Association, in cooperation with the national network organisation, Danish Multi-Disciplinary Cancer Groups for Palliative Care, and PAVI – Knowledge Centre for Rehabilitation and Palliative Care. Non-EAPC membership professional associations in palliative care in Denmark will also participate.

Mai Britt logoMeet the Danish professionals
At the stand you will meet: doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers and chaplains and have the chance to talk about daily clinical practice in palliative care. Representatives from the national network of professionals (DMCG-PAL) and PAVI – Knowledge Centre for Rehabilitation and Palliative Care will be on hand to inform you about national collaborations to raise awareness about palliative care and strengthen quality of clinical care at a national level.

Professionals from the different disciplines can explain how interdisciplinary work is integrated into caring for patients and families. And you can hear about how we are working together in policy-making, and how we are building a framework for the development of palliative care, national recommendations and clinical guidelines in Denmark. The Danish Corner stand is a symbol of inter-professional collaboration as the dynamic key to strengthening palliative care in our healthcare system for the benefit of patients and their families. 

coffeeJoin us at the Danish Corner!
We invite you to come along to our stand for an informal discussion. This is a place to collaborate, network and exchange knowledge with your colleagues while we offer you a good cup of coffee and Danish sweets. We hope to contribute to the congress by raising awareness of interdisciplinary work in palliative care, networking and sharing knowledge and future visions to meet the complex challenges faced by us all in our work with palliative care. 

See you in Copenhagen soon!

Links

EAPC congress 2015

EAPC Congress update…
If you’re joining us at the  14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, you can now download the final programme and the book of abstracts.

Follow all the Congress events on Twitter @EAPCOnlus the official Congress hashtag is #eapc2015

EAPC Kongres update
Vi ses på the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care i København, Danmark, d. 8-10 maj, 2015. Du kan downloade det endelige program her: (final programme) og abstractbogen her: (book of abstracts).

Du kan følge med på Twitter @EAPCOnlus – vores officielle kongres hashtag er #eapc2015

 

 

Posted in 14th World Congress Copenhagen, EAPC ACTIVITIES, EAPC Congresses, NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL REPORTS | Leave a comment

EAPC Board Matters – what we discussed in Lyon

Dr David Oliver, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Wisdom Hospice, Rochester, and Honorary Reader, Centre for Professional Practice, University of Kent, UK, and a member of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Board of Directors. Here, Dr Oliver explains some of the key matters under discussion at the meeting in Lyon, France, on 11-12 April.

Dr David Oliver

Dr David Oliver

The present Board met in a very sunny Lyon for the last time with Sheila Payne as President. There was a busy agenda and some of the decisions are outlined below.

The White Paper on Euthanasia and Assisted Dying was presented to the Board and approved and is now to be submitted for publication.

The details for the election of the 2015-2019 Board were finalised and all eligible members, who have individual membership or are Board members of affiliated societies/associations, with voting rights, are encouraged to vote on Saturday 9 May at the EAPC World Congress in Copenhagen. You can read more about the voting procedures on the EAPC blog, as well as candidates’ profiles.

There have been successful negotiations to establish a formal relationship between the EAPC and the World Health Organization following the World Health Assembly resolution in May 2014.

The EAPC Research Network and the EAPC are involved in a number of European Commission projects including CANCON – looking at coordinated cancer care, ACTION – which is a cluster randomised trial of an intervention involving conversations that may help in advance care planning. These will be continuing over the coming years.

Seminars and congresses

Social media
There has been an overall 25 per cent increase in the number of people following us through the EAPC blog, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Please consider this way of keeping in touch with the work of the EAPC and international developments in palliative care. You can access our social media links through the EAPC website. To receive an email alert each time a new blog post is published please sign up here.

Official EAPC Journals

  • Palliative Medicine now has an impact factor of 2.845 – the highest for any palliative care journal.
  • The European Journal of Palliative Care is offering a reduced subscription of 50% until 31 May – subscribe now. (See the links below).

The Board welcomes comments and suggestion from members and seeks to look at the development of palliative care throughout Europe, and in collaboration with other organisations across the world. This is the opportunity to become more involved – take it now and use the EAPC blog, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep in contact with us. Anyone is welcome to contact the President, Professor Sheila Payne, by email.

Links

EAPC congress 2015Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, 2015.  You can now download the final programme for the Congress and the abstract book.

Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015 

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The future of the EAPC is in your hands: Election of new EAPC Board, 2015-2019

Professor Marilène Filbet, on behalf of the European Association for Palliative Care Board Election Nominations Group, explains the background to the voting procedure.

Professor Marilène Filbet

Professor Marilène Filbet

The election of the next EAPC Board of Directors for 2015-2019 will take place in May 2015 at the EAPC World Congress in Copenhagen. A new Board of 13 members will be chosen. In order to properly reflect the Europe-wide scope of the organisation, and the multidisciplinary nature of palliative care, voters are asked to consider carefully the following criteria when voting. In particular, it is important that consideration be given to the following criteria for selection:

  • Re-election of current board members eligible to serve a second term because of the need for organisational continuity;
  • Representation from as wide a variety of countries as possible;
  • Representation from as wide a variety of professional disciplines as possible (at least two of whom must be from a nursing background).

No more than two candidates from each country can be elected. In order to satisfy the criteria listed above, the number of votes alone may not be the sole criteria for election. This is set out in greater detail on the voting paper. Several of the candidates standing for election have already published their profiles on the EAPC blog and more will follow in the run-up to the elections. You can also find information on all candidates on the EAPC website (this web page is visible only to individual and collective members so you will need to login). This will enable you to consider each candidate and what he or she might bring to the EAPC. You will see on the ballot paper, the request that the voter chooses 13 candidates. It is important that individuals and national associations do not just support a single candidate, but should take the broadest possible view and select 13 candidates that they think will best promote the EAPC and develop palliative care into the future. The new Board, once elected for the next four years, will vote for the appointment, from within the board, of a new president and other officers.

Voting procedure
In order to vote, subscriptions for the year 2015 must be paid by 30th April 2015. Each member has the right to one voting form. Members may vote by proxy through an authorised person. Voting will take place on Friday, 8th of May from 10.00 until 17.00 in room 171 at the Copenhagen Conference Centre. Members eligible to vote and other authorised persons must present on this day with identification (EAPC membership card) and if relevant, present proxy forms. They will then be given a card to attend the General Assembly and voting papers for the appropriate number of members (either presenting in person or being represented by proxy). Members can then cast their vote, selecting 13 candidates per voting paper. The results of the election and names of the new EAPC board of directors will be announced at the General Assembly to be held in the Copenhagen Conference Centre on Saturday, 9th May at 6.00pm.

Please take some time to inform yourself about candidates standing for election, consult your colleagues in your National Association and vote to select a vibrant, representative and relevant EAPC board!

The future of the EAPC is in your hands…

Read candidates’ profiles on the EAPC blog
Click here to read posts from some of the candidates standing for election to the EAPC Board. More candidates’ profiles will be published in the run-up to the election. 

EAPC congress 2015Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May 2015. Download the final programme here. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015 

Vous venez à Copenhague?
Nous aurons le plaisir de vous accueillir au 14ième Congrès Mondial de l’Association Européenne de Soins Palliatifs à Copenhague au Danemark, du 8 au 10 mai 2015. Suivez-nous sur Twitter @EAPCOnlus avec le hashtag officiel #eapc2015

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EAPC Board elections: Introducing our candidates – Sophie Pautex

This new series introduces candidates for the European Association for Palliative Care Board of Directors who will be standing for election (or in some cases re-election) in May 2015. We hope the blog posts provide an opportunity for candidates to explain more about themselves and how they might contribute to the EAPC and the palliative care community more generally.  Board members are nominated by national associations or, in a few cases, by individual members. They are elected as individuals to service the EAPC for a four-year term, with one additional opportunity to be re-elected. The EAPC is keen to have Board members from all disciplines, at all stages of their career, and from all parts of Europe. 

The series continues today with Dr Sophie Pautex, physician in charge of the geriatric and palliative care community unit, University Hospital Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr Sophie Pautex

Dr Sophie Pautex

Since 2007, I have been the coordinator of the Geriatric Palliative Care Interest Group of EUGMS (European Union Geriatric Medicine Society). This has allowed me to build a network of European geriatricians interested in palliative care. Since 2012, I have been involved in the joint working group of the EUGMS and the EAPC. These different experiences, as well as my participation in two European research initiatives to improve care of older patients, have motivated me to expand my activities at European level. If elected to the EAPC Board, I would be particularly keen to contribute towards ensuring quality palliative care for older patients, to participate in the development of the training of medical students in this field and to continue inter-professional education.

I’m a physician who completed my training in internal medicine and then in geriatrics. In 1999, I established a pain and palliative care consultation team in the University Hospital Geneva for older patients. I’m currently in charge of a community geriatric and palliative care consultation team with an important pre- and post-graduate education and in charge of some research protocols. During the past 10 years I have had the opportunity to be president of our local palliative care association, to participate in our national strategy, to be a member of ‘palliative ch’ (our national palliative care association) and to participate in the coordination of research initiatives across Switzerland.

By chance, I spent my first year of training in a palliative care unit. The medical staff there taught me everything I had not learned in my studies: the overall care of patients and communication. What interests me most of all is the management of a patient in a complex palliative care situation, which is not something you can just read about in a textbook or in the literature. It requires the consideration of many factors of the patient (his disease and wishes), his family and his environment. This forces us to challenge and question ourselves daily and it makes our job exciting. I love working with older people, or very old patients, who always have long and interesting stories.

And outside of palliative care, I love travelling, seeing new places, walking in the mountains, eating well and cooking.

Coming up on the EAPC blog…
We shall be publishing more posts from our candidates in the run-up to the elections. Click here to read previous posts from other candidates.

Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May 2015. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015 

Sophie Pautex is presentingValidation of Three Different French Forms of ESAS’ in the Free Communication session on Friday 8 May at 11h15 in Meeting Room 20 at the Congress. Download the final programme here.

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We can’t do it without you – the impact of volunteers on UK hospices

Dr Ros Scott, Voluntary Sector Consultant, and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK, explains the background to her longer article published in the March/April edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care.

Ros Scott

Dr Ros Scott

How often have you heard people say to volunteers: “We couldn’t do it without you”? I have often said this myself – always with passion and conviction arising from my experience of working with volunteers and seeing their impact in so many different ways on a daily basis. I have also frequently been heard to say that volunteers are an important and integral part of the organisation. Yet, however much I believed this to be true, I found little research to support, or indeed refute, either of these statements.

A subsequent conversation with my son about strategic organisational assets started to change my thinking about volunteering. We discussed what a strategic asset was and how this might be defined (resources necessary for an organisation to achieve goals and to enable it to survive). I began to consider whether volunteering was indeed a strategic asset for any organisation and decided to use this as a focus for research.

The aims of the research were to:

  • Explore the influence of volunteers on 
governance, service delivery, hospice economy and community engagement.
  • Gain insight into how volunteering is understood by senior staff, volunteers and 
trustees.
  • Consider the relationship between volunteering and organisational sustainability.

The research aimed to gain a strategic perspective on volunteering in UK hospices by seeking the views of trustees, senior staff and volunteers using self-administered online questionnaires. Thirty-two independent hospices took part and the responses provided a rich source of data.

Key findings suggest that:

  • Volunteers are recognised as important in helping organisations to achieve their strategic goals.
  • There was little recognition of the significant role that volunteers play as trustees.
  • Volunteers are crucial to the range, variety and quality of care and support provided to adults, children and their families.
  • Volunteers have a key role in contributing to the financial stability of hospices.
  • Volunteers have a key role to play in dispelling the myths and taboos about hospice care, and also about death, dying and bereavement.
  • Volunteers are vital to hospice sustainability.

In reflecting on the research, what surprised me most was the high level of agreement between trustees, staff and volunteers and the significant level of dependence that hospices appear to have on volunteers. We talk about volunteers enhancing services, yet it would seem they are essential to our work. When some hospices say that they would have to close without volunteers – we need to start taking volunteering seriously. Volunteering can no longer be an afterthought or seen as a ‘nice to have’.

Volunteering is changing too – volunteers have many demands on their time and want different things from their experience with us. How will we continue to attract the volunteers that we clearly depend on? Because it seems to me that we really can’t do it without them.

EJPC_22_2_coverRead the full article in the European Journal of Palliative Care
This post relates to a longer article, The impact of volunteers on hospices’ sustainability in the UK – “We can’t do it without you, no really we can’t”, by Ros Scott, published in the March/April 2015 issue of the European Journal of Palliative Care (vol. 22.2). If you have a web-based subscription to the journal you’ll be able to download this issue, plus all articles in the journal archive. You can also browse the archive and download articles by taking a 10-minute or 30-minute subscription. Members of the EAPC receive discounted subscription rates to the journal – click here to subscribe online. We are offering 50% discount on our subscriptions until 31 May 2015. Take advantage of our exclusive offer and save on your subscription to the European Journal of Palliative Care (EJPC). In order to redeem this exclusive offer please enter discount code EJPC50 (for personal subscriptions) or EJPC50I (for institutional subscriptions) online or email us and one of the team will get your subscription set up for you.

Links and resources

EAPC congress 2015Are you coming to Copenhagen?
Dr Ros Scott and Mag. Leena Pelttari MSc. (Palliative Care) will be running a Meet the Expert session on The Future of Hospice and Palliative Care from a Volunteering Perspective at 08h00 on Sunday 10 May 2015 (meeting room 173) at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Copenhagen, Denmark. Final programme for the congress is now onlineFollow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015 

Posted in EAPC-LINKED JOURNALS, European Journal of Palliative Care, VOLUNTEERING IN PALLIATIVE CARE | Tagged | 1 Comment

EAPC Board elections: Introducing our candidates – Martin Loučka

This new series introduces candidates for the European Association for Palliative Care Board of Directors who will be standing for election (or in some cases re-election) in May 2015. We hope the blog posts provide an opportunity for candidates to explain more about themselves and how they might contribute to the EAPC and the palliative care community more generally.  Board members are nominated by national associations or, in a few cases, by individual members. They are elected as individuals to service the EAPC for a four-year term, with one additional opportunity to be re-elected. The EAPC is keen to have Board members from all disciplines, at all stages of their career, and from all parts of Europe. 

The series continues today with Dr Martin Loučka, Director of The Center for Palliative Care, Prague, Czech Republic.

Dr Martin Loučka

Dr Martin Loučka

I am a Czech psychologist and director of the Center for Palliative Care in Prague. I gained a PhD in Health Research at Lancaster University in the UK, under the supervision of Prof Sheila Payne and Dr Sarah Brearley. My thesis was focused on reviewing the methodological challenges of international comparative research in palliative care.

My interest in palliative care began in the second year of my undergraduate studies when I learned about existential psychotherapy and the work of Rollo May and Irvin Yalom. In existential psychotherapy, death is one of the fundamental givens of existence, which every person must deal with. I was reading a lot about different psychological theories back then and this approach made the most sense to me. I started looking around to see if anybody used this perspective in clinical work and palliative care was the obvious first place to go. I attended a two-year international training in paediatric palliative care, organised by an excellent hospice in Bratislava called ‘The Flicker’, and it started a fire in my heart, which has still not gone out.

I believe that palliative care can make a real difference to the lives of patients with incurable diseases. So I would like to see universal access to palliative care for all people who need it. It sounds very ambitious, I know, but visions should be ambitious, right? We have great hospices in many European countries, including the Czech Republic, my home. But to achieve this big goal, we will need more than hospices. We will need education about palliative care for all medical and nursing students, adequate recognition from policy makers and stakeholders, and perhaps most importantly functional models of collaboration between all relevant providers of health and social care. This is huge, but I believe that we can succeed and one of my interests in palliative care is developing projects, which can help this dream come true. I am also very interested in the decision- making process and the role of family.

What I would hope to contribute to the EAPC if elected
If elected to the EAPC Board, I would hope to bring my experiences with international research and networking, which I gained during my years in the EURO IMPACT project and in the US as a Fulbright Scholar at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I could also bring the perspective from an Eastern European country, which I see as important, because there are still so many differences in the vitality of the palliative care movement between Eastern and Western EAPC member countries. And lastly, being a psychologist I would be happy to support the importance of psychosocial aspects of palliative care.

Outside of palliative care I am a keen rock climber and guitarist but since my daughter was born 11 months ago, I discovered the overwhelming joy of being a father. So now, when I get some free time, I usually build endless towers of fabric boxes or play chase with my little princess.

Coming up on the EAPC blog…
Each week in the run-up to the elections, we shall be publishing more posts from our candidates. Click here to read those already published and look out next week for the next in the series.

EAPC congress 2015Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, 2015. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015 

Posted in 2015 EAPC Board Elections, EAPC ACTIVITIES, EAPC Board Members | Tagged | Leave a comment

Facing the challenge of managing the deteriorating patients in an acute hospital

Dr Merlina Sulistio, Advanced physician trainee in palliative medicine, Monash Health 2011 and current palliative medicine physician, Cabrini Health, Australia, explains the background to the longer article selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in the April issue of Palliative Medicine.

Dr Merlina

Dr Merlina Sulistio

Like many young doctors, I began my specialist training in palliative care after years of doing general medicine and surgery in acute hospitals. During those years, I encountered many deteriorating patients who needed input from the hospital rapid response team (RRT). This team, commonly consisting of a combination of an intensive care unit doctor and nurse and general medicine junior doctors, is established in many hospitals worldwide to urgently respond to and improve outcomes in clinically deteriorating patients. These patients were challenging to a junior doctor: from obtaining venous access, to assessing and discussing the limitations of treatment.

It became apparent to me, during the initial months of training in palliative care, how timely discussions can prepare and empower patients to receive the type of care they desire. This was in striking contrast to the end-of-life care received by some patients I had cared for earlier in my career.

Recognising and responding to deteriorating hospitalised patients is an important issue globally in acute medicine. The RRT has been introduced to address this issue. However, it is clear that a significant proportion of patients that deteriorate in hospital do so because of their progressive life-limiting illness. Many of these patients receive more interventions than required, due to a medical culture that fights the inevitability of death. Systems and structures for delivering safe and high quality end-of-life care should work in synergy with those for recognising and responding to clinical deterioration.

With the help of my clinical supervisors, Dr Michael Franco and Dr Leeroy William, we conceptualised this retrospective cohort study, published in this month’s Palliative Medicine, to identify patients with poorer outcomes following RRT consultations. Given the known demographics of these patients, we felt that it was likely many of these patients had life-limiting illness. We used the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT™)1 to identify these patients.

Our retrospective study confirmed that:

  • Nearly 40% of patients who required RRT consultations have a life-limiting illness
  • These patients have worse outcomes after RRT consultations compared to their counterparts (mortality rates of 41.7% vs 13.2%).

Given these findings, we recommend that:

  • Patients with life-limiting illness are identified using validated tools such as SPICT™
  • They should be offered the opportunity for clarification of goals of care within three days of hospital admission.

We hope this approach will provide clarity and direction to treating teams, reduce the burden of unnecessary interventions and promote patient-centred care agreed upon in advance of any deterioration.

References
1. Boyd K, Highet G, Crawford D, et al. Identifying patients with advanced illness for needs assessment and care planning: SPICT in practice. BMJ Support Palliat Care 2012; 2: A43.

PM April4.coverDownload a free copy of the full article…
This post relates to a longer article, Hospital rapid response team and patients with life-limiting illness: A multicentre retrospective cohort study’, by Merlina Sulistio, Michael Franco, Amanda Vo, et al, published in Palliat Med. 2015 29: 29: 302-309. Published online before print January 29, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0269216314560802. EAPC members and registered users of the EAPC website can download a free copy of this article and other ‘Editor’s choice’ papers from the EAPC website. 

(If you need to register or login to download this paper please follow the instructions in the top right-hand corner of EAPC home page and scroll down to the article). Click here to view other EAPC-originated papers.

EAPC congress 2015Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, 2015. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015 

Tienes pensado venir a Copenhague?
Te esperamos en el 14º Congreso Mundial de la Sociedad Europea de Cuidados Paliativos – Copenhague, Dinamarca, del 8 al 10 de Mayo 2015. Consulta toda la información aquí.  También puedes seguirnos en Twitter @EAPCOnlus – el hashtag oficial del congreso es #eapc2015 

Posted in EAPC-LINKED JOURNALS, Palliative Medicine: Editor's Choice, RESEARCH | Tagged | Leave a comment