David Oliver, Honorary Professor at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, Chair of EAPC Palliative Care in Neurology Reference Group and EAPC Board member.
At the recent 4th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Lisbon, the close collaboration between the European Association for Palliative Care(EAPC) and European Academy of Neurology (EAN) was further strengthened. For the first time, an EAPC/EAN Symposium on Palliative Care and Neurology was part of the programme. More than 100 people attended – the highest number at a neurology congress – and Professor Phil Larkin, President of the EAPC, co-chaired the session with Professor Paul Boon, the Chair of the Congress committee.
During the session, Professor Raymond Voltz (Germany), Dr Simone Veronese (Italy) and Professor David Oliver all spoke on developments within the field. There is now more evidence for the effectiveness of palliative care in improving the symptoms and quality of life of people with neurological disease and many guidelines have been developed which include palliative care. The importance for all neurologists to provide a palliative care approach and to collaborate with specialist palliative care was emphasized. There was really good feedback and several of the audience discussed the issues afterwards. You can find further details of the EAPC/EAN Symposium here.
Within the same congress, a case-based workshop on end-of-life care for neurological patients looked at the use of interventions, such as gastrostomy or ventilation at the end of life, coping with difficult patient and family situations and how to be involved in difficult conversations. Dr Idris Baker, a palliative care physician from Swansea, UK, Dr Peter Zepper, a palliative care physician and neurologist form Germany and Professor Orla Hardiman, a neurologist from Ireland, all spoke in an interactive session. Twenty-four people attended with good interaction and discussion.
I also spoke at a Scientific Theatre – a presentation within the poster and exhibition area. Twelve people came to hear about the Consensus document on palliative care and neurology, providing another opportunity to involve neurologists in considering palliative care.
Collaboration between the EAPC and EAN continues and the Memorandum of Understanding has recently been updated. The new President, Professor Franz Fazekas, and the boards of both organisations are committed to developing the links.
Speaking of the meeting, Professor Phil Larkin said:
“It was so good to see so many neurologists interested in palliative care and committed to improving care for patients. We look forward to this collaboration developing further – and to welcoming neurologists to a session within the EAPC Congress in Berlin in 2019.”
- EAPC Palliative Care in Neurology Reference Group.
- Contact David Oliver by email.
- Read more posts about neurology in palliative care on the EAPC Blog.
- 16THEuropean Association for Palliative Care World Congress, Berlin, Germany, 23 to 25 May 2019. Abstract submission opens soon – keep checking the website!