This 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 David Oliver, Honorary Reader, Centre for Professional Practice, University of Kent, UK and Locum Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Wisdom Hospice, Rochester, UK.
My interest in palliative care started as a medical student. I spent part of my elective at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, to which I returned as a doctor after qualifying as a General Practitioner. I was fortunate to be there when Dame Cicely Saunders was still involved in the hospice and to experience the care and skills of both the consultants there, Dr Mary Baines and Dr Tom West. In 1984, I was appointed as Consultant in Palliative Medicine at the Wisdom Hospice in Rochester and I have remained there until I retired from full-time working in 2014, although I have continued to work part time.
I have also been fortunate to be involved at the University of Kent as an Honorary Reader (Associate Professor) where I set up the Masters Programme in Supportive and Palliative Care, and an associated course on Palliative and Chronic Illness Care with the University of Lille. More than 25 students have attained a Masters during this time and it has been very gratifying to see them develop and start to lead in their own services. I have also been able to support the development of palliative care at the Medical Faculty at the University of Zagreb, where I am a Visiting Professor.
My professional passion has been in neurological palliative care, particularly motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I have written many articles on this area of care and undertaken research with the aim of improving care. Within the EAPC I have been Chair of the Taskforce on Neurological Palliative Care and we have been working with neurological societies in Europe to develop a consensus of care and possible future developments and collaboration. I am currently the Chair of the Guideline Development Group on Motor Neurone Disease for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK.
I am now partly retired and can devote more time to my interests, hobbies and home, and spoiling my three grandchildren! My involvement with the EAPC has been both interesting and challenging. It has always been my aim to bring both the medical aspects and my commitment to multidisciplinary team working to the Board. I have also been committed to ensuring that palliative care professionals across Europe are aware of the work of the Board’s activities – with a report and blog post following all Board meetings.
Since 2011 I have been a member of the EAPC Board and I am re-standing for election again at the EAPC Congress in Copenhagen. The next few years will see changes in palliative care and the EAPC is there to work with all professionals in meeting the needs of patients and families. It is my hope that by working within the Board we can ensure that palliative care continues to develop: to meet the challenges of the ageing population, the development of palliative care for patient groups who have yet to receive a more systematic approach to their care, and to reach into countries and areas where services are at present limited.
More about the EAPC Board elections…
EAPC Board elections take place on Saturday 9 May from 10.00 am until 3.00 pm in room 171 of the Congress Center. If you are a member of the EAPC and eligible to vote please do go along and place your vote. Members can find more information on voting procedures and all the candidates standing for election on the EAPC website. (Members will need to login to access these pages).
We are also publishing candidates’ posts on the EAPC Blog 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.
Dr David Oliver and Professor Gian Domenico Borasio will be leading a Meet the Expert session on ‘Palliative Care in Neurology’ on Saturday 9 May at 08.00 in Auditorium 11 at the Congress. Download the final programme and book of abstracts.
Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015