Professor Sheila Payne, Chair of the Symposium Scientific Committee and Emeritus Professor at the International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University, UK
Death is a difficult thing: in one sense it is deeply personal to the dying person and their family, and in another sense, it is an everyday occurrence – a fact of life. The role of palliative care is to hold in equilibrium these two tensions – to offer compassionate and empathetic care to each individual, and also to provide evidence-based services to all in need. They are not incompatible, in my view.
One way forward is to integrate palliative care services more fully into mainstream health and social care provision as advocated by the World Health Assembly in May 2014. However, there remains much controversy about what exactly is meant by integration, and with whom, and with what, should palliative care be integrated? To address these concerns and stimulate debate, a one-day symposium is being held to focus on the topic of ‘Integrated Palliative Care: Are you ready for change?’ The event is being organised by the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Research Network in collaboration with the Integrated Palliative Care in advanced cancer, heart disease and COPD project (InSup-C), funded by the European Commission Framework 7 programme.
The symposium will be held at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Brussels on Friday 30 September 2016. It will feature international experts: Professor David Currow (Australia) and the President of the EAPC Professor Philip Larkin, (Ireland), as keynote speakers.
The programme will also showcase new research, practice and policy developments, including results from the InSup-C project which offers a taxonomy of integrated palliative care, examples of ‘best practices’ from clinical initiatives in six European countries, and tools to benchmark existing services. In addition, we are seeking people to present their original research, reviews and service evaluation studies.
To help to disseminate the results of the research, we are running a Mass Open Online Classroom (MOOC) from October 12 through FutureLearn. (Anyone can sign up to this free course, which is online and lasts for three weeks. It will give you an overview on how to integrate palliative care with other healthcare settings.
A call for abstracts for oral and poster presentations will be made shortly, with a deadline of 30 June 2016.
More about the EAPC Research Network and InSup-C Symposium