Inclusivity in palliative care – are we as good as we think?


There are just 22 days to the 17th World Congress Online of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). With live sessions on 6 to 8 October and lots of on-demand content before and after the congress.

Ahead of the congress, we’re delighted to give some highlights of what to expect at #EAPC2021. Today, we give a glimpse of the plenary presentation that will be given on Wednesday, 6 October by Professor Richard Harding, Herbert Dunhill Professor of Palliative Care & Rehabilitation, Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute & Vice Dean (International) of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care, King’s College London, United Kingdom.

Professor Richard Harding

You matter because you are you, and you matter all the days of your life.

Dame Cicely’s words have greater resonance for us now as we develop greater awareness of health inequalities in society and make efforts to reduce them. Minority and low-income groups may experience discrimination and social exclusion and have worse health outcomes. If our commitment is to palliative care for all who would benefit from it, then we must make concerted efforts towards inclusivity.

People with progressive illness may have faced health inequalities that made them more likely to develop their illness. Minority stress theory explains why experience of discrimination may lead to greater prevalence of some life-limiting illnesses. The challenge for us is whether we can recognise that inequality, understand how it may reduce access to palliative care, and how it may influence needs and preferences.

Dame Cicely Saunders 1918 – 2005  (Photograph with kind permission of St Christopher’s Hospice).

The notion of “values-based care” is useful in considering how our values as clinicians, managers, or researchers influence the evidence we generate, the services we develop and the care we deliver. The promotion of the values of ‘inclusivity’ and that “you matter because you are you” are key to achieving our shared goal of palliative care for all.

Experience suggests that people do want to deliver inclusive care, but that sometimes it isn’t clear what actions to pursue. Within existing healthcare evidence, research samples are often homogenous, and standard recruitment methods may not engage minority groups. However, there are many examples of innovative practice to help us consider how we plan, promote and deliver inclusive palliative care services.

Join Richard Harding in his plenary presentation, Inclusivity in palliative care – are we as good as we think?’ at 3pm on Wednesday, 6 October 2021. Professor Harding is one of many leading international practitioners and researchers who will be presenting at the EAPC 17th World Congress. His lecture will be recorded and released for on-demand viewing by registered delegates until January 2022. Everyone, whether registered or not, will be able to read the abstract in the congress book of abstracts, published by Palliative Medicine, from 27 September 2021.

Read more about Richard Harding and the Cicely Saunders Institute.

The 17th EAPC World Congress Online offers interactive online sessions from 6 to 8 October 2021, including an entire day dedicated to Paediatric Palliative Care. Congress platform goes live 27 September!

  • Register for the congress here. (Up to 25% discount for EAPC members)
  • View the live scientific programme here.
  • Enjoy lots of on-demand content until 31 January 2022.
  • Enter the Science Slam here.
  • Get a sneak peek of congress presentations on the EAPC blog.
  • Follow latest congress news @EAPCvzw #EAPC2021 and via the blog.



This entry was posted in 17th EAPC World Congress, ADVOCACY & POLICY, EAPC World Congresses, Minority Communities and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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