Today, in collaboration with the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Paediatric Taskforce, we launch a special series about children’s palliative care with examples of initiatives that aim to improve care for children, young people and their families.
Lizzie Chambers, Joint-chair of the (EAPC) Paediatric Taskforce, and Development Director of Together for Short Lives, UK, sets the scene . . .
We have much to be proud of in the children’s palliative care sector and how far it has developed since its beginnings in the 1980s. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the many professionals who have established the speciality and to the organisations that have championed the cause of children’s palliative care.
Not least among these is the Maruzza Foundation that has led the EAPC’s paediatric work over the past few years, including the development of IMPaCCT standards (International Meeting for Palliative Care in Children,Trento) for Europe. We will hear more from the Maruzza Foundation and their new international Charter in the next blog post in this series.
As a former trustee of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), it had always been very apparent to me that whilst other regions of the world had flourishing children’s palliative care networks, there was no such inclusive network in Europe.
It was suggested that we set up a new Paediatric Taskforce to build a new group that would enable professionals and organisations across Europe to share their learning and experiences of establishing and providing children’s palliative care.
Never one to say ‘no’, and having recently stepped down from the Board of ICPCN, I agreed to take on the co-chairing of this new Taskforce together with Dr Finella Craig, Children’s Palliative Care Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital (UK).
The Taskforce aims to ensure that palliative care for children and young people has stronger representation within the EAPC so that the association can provide one voice across Europe for palliative care for all age groups.
Aims and objectives of the EAPC Paediatric Taskforce
- To bring together a network of the wide range of professionals working to develop children’s palliative care in European countries and provide opportunities for sharing of information, research, education and advocacy.
- To support the development and dissemination of the evidence base in children’s palliative care through identification of specific workstreams leading to published guidelines and standards.
- To provide educational opportunities for those working in children’s palliative care through the development of paediatric sessions at EAPC events.
- To support the development of palliative care for children and young people across Europe, through advocacy and awareness-raising, signposting organisations to the support offered by children’s palliative care organisations around the world.
Our first task is to begin to build a directory of children’s palliative care services in Europe. If you would like to be included in this directory, please do contact us EAPC@togetherforshortlives.org.uk
We look forward to meeting with you over the coming months, at our stands at the Maruzza Foundation Children’s Palliative Care Conference in Rome in November 2016 and at the 15th EAPC World Congress in Madrid in May 2017 (see links below). Please do come and say hello!
Links and resources
- EAPC Paediatric Taskforce.
- 3rd Congress on Paediatric Palliative Care: A Global Gathering. 16-19 November 2016.
- EAPC 2017 World Congress: Progressing Palliative Care 28-20 May 2017, Madrid, Spain.
Follow the EAPC Blog for more posts in this series. Next week, Giovanna Abbiati of the Maruzza Foundation writes about the Trieste Charter.