Scott Murray and Sébastien Moine, Co-chairs, EAPC Primary Care Reference Group, report on their group’s virtual meeting held at the 11th World Research Congress Online of the European Association for Palliative Care.
We had a very lively and informative meeting at the recent EAPC World Research Congress Online attended by enthusiasts all seeking to advance palliative care in primary care in their own countries. The youngest participant is pictured here, zooming in from Taiwan with his dad, Dr Ping-Jen Chen, a consultant geriatrician and palliative medicine specialist at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan.
Cathy Payne was so helpful in helping to set the whole meeting up – our thanks to her!
About 40 countries were represented from Europe and Africa, America, Asia and India.
Several countries reported good progress with the new Primary Palliative Care toolkit. We showed our one-minute video and graphic to explain it to national leaders so participants could see how it might be used in their own countries. Greece was already in the midst of translating the toolkit for local use, and we welcome people to volunteer to do likewise – a template is available – just request it from us at the links below.
We then had the much-awaited premiere of the group’s new video Palliative care and multi-morbidity: a 4-step approach which is also now free to all for teaching about early palliative care and care planning in multimorbidity. It shows that understanding the underlying illness trajectory really does guide care planning for the immediate future, as well as later when a person may lose capacity. Do please download and use it for teaching and explaining. This updates our previous video ‘Palliative care from diagnosis to death – YouTube, as most people now die with at least two conditions. That video has been viewed over 30k times!
Other presentations from Nepal, Australia, Dubai, Denmark and Malaysia revealed an ‘epidemic’ of primary palliative care clinically, and in research and teaching worldwide. Participants from Ghana, Sri Lanka and the UK were also active in the chat.
Previously, our group has compared dying to having a final dance – the Danse Macabre – and produced Strictly Come Dying. But if you want to speak to golfers about death and dying then our short video, ‘Let’s go golfing’, shows how dying might be like playing your final hole at golf! We made it for the congress ‘Science Slam’, and it was narrowly squeezed into second place by a brilliantly illustrated presentation by Berend Feddersen on ‘Emotions at the end of life’.
If you registered for the 11th EAPC World Research Congress Online, you can view both these videos here until 31 January 2021. Just login with your email address and password.
Getting help with advocacy in your country…
Do contact us if you want help with local advocacy in your country. Recently, in Italy, the group supported two very strategic national meetings on Zoom, helping our local members there affirm the strong need to develop primary palliative care early for all patients, including those with COVID-19.
Geoff Mitchell, one of our members from Australia who gave a plenary lecture at the congress, recently penned an editorial in the BMJ S&PC with many memorable phrases that you might find useful in advocacy:
It is essential that dying is seen as a normal, individual and a four-dimensional process – the physical, psychological, social and spiritual.
It makes sense to ensure a system with universal availability (primary care) is tasked with supporting the universal experience of dying.
With a small change in emphasis and by embracing a palliative approach, primary care practitioners can realise they are actually providing palliative care already.
WHO recently affirmed that palliative care is a core part of primary care provision.
Join us …
If you are passionate about improving palliative care in the community in your country, please email our co-ordinator Erica Ring to register as a member of the wider group.
We want to welcome more members, especially nurses, allied health professionals, geriatricians, social workers and, of course, researchers and patients. We are also looking for some new people to get more involved in our organising committee.
Very best wishes, and stay safe,
Scott Murray and Sébastien Moine.
Links and resources
Do contact us by email and follow us on Twitter:
- Scott Murray @scottamurrayed
- Sébastien Moine @s_moine
- EAPC Primary Care Reference Group – please visit our group’s web page for many other resources.
- Read earlier posts about primary care in palliative care on the EAPC blog.
- Read more about the 11th EAPC World Research Congress here.