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The first Leadership Course of the European Palliative Care Academy got off to a flying start in Cologne in September. Gerrit Frerich and Heather Graham, Coordinating Office, Centre for Palliative Care, University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, explain
Twenty participants joined us at the Centre for Palliative Care at the University Hospital in Cologne from 23-27 September 2013 for the first week of this new and exciting course delivered by the European Palliative Care Academy (EUPCA). They came from all across Europe including: Albania, Belgium, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The participants bring a great deal of experience in palliative care to the table, ranging from years of experience as a nurse or doctor in a hospice to being advocates for palliative care in their respective countries.
Albert Leka, for example, comes from Albania where palliative care is still a very young discipline. One of his personal learning objectives for the European Palliative Care Academy is the improvement of his advocacy skills in order to more effectively influence policies for adequate availability of pain-relieving medication in his country.
The EUPCA is a unique further education course that prepares palliative care professionals from the whole of Europe for prospective leadership tasks in their professional lives. The contents of the course include sessions on Personal Development, Project Management, Team Work, Research Methods and Advocacy.
The EUPCA is an initiative of and funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a major German charitable foundation associated with a private company. The EUPCA was developed in collaboration with four leading European institutes of education: University Hospital of Cologne, Centre for Palliative Care in Germany; Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz in Poland; Hospice Casa Sperantei, Brasov in Romania; King’s College London, Cicely Saunders Institute in the United Kingdom. It is implemented in collaboration with the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC).
Each of the four academic centres will provide one week of training enabling participants to visit all four institutions. In addition to the four course weeks, the course also includes an observation week in an institution of their choice, where participants will undertake a personal project as well as further tasks, which are to be carried out alongside the course. The course is to be completed in 18 months, parallel to the participant’s occupation enabling participants to continue working.
In Cologne last September, our participants received training and tutorials on Project Management and Personal Development. Moreover, they had a chance to experience palliative and hospice care in Germany with the example of the Centre for Palliative Care at the University Hospital of Cologne and Rondorf Hospice.
“We are very pleased with the absolutely positive and exciting evaluation of this kick-off week by the participants” said Professor Raymond Voltz, Director of the Centre of Palliative Care at the University Hospital of Cologne. The feedback received so far has been very positive and encouraging with participants commenting primarily on the organisation of the week and the inspiring new colleagues that they had the opportunity to meet: “Really wonderful, both academically but also in creating new networks or meeting interesting and inspiring colleagues.”
Find out more…
Applications for the Leadership Course 2015 – 2017 will probably be invited from the end of 2014. Please visit our website for more information.
Click here to read more about palliative care in Albania on the EAPC blog. Many other posts feature palliative care across Europe – just type in the country name in the search box.
We’ll shortly be publishing a student’s reflections on the Leadership Course.