Research into palliative care for Covid-19

The International Observatory on End-of-Life Care at Lancaster University is involved in two new projects exploring aspects of palliative and end-of-life care.

Professors Nancy Preston and Catherine Walshe with Dr Andrew Harding are involved in both projects.

The first project, CovPall is a rapid evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic response in palliative and end of life care, exploring national delivery, workforce and symptom management. The team is led by King’s College, London together with colleagues from Hull-York Medical School and York University, funded by the MRC.

Professor Catherine Walshe said: “It is wonderful to be working with such an experienced team on this important topic. The project will help us understand how palliative care services are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and help us to understand how we can provide more effective care for patients dying with COVID-19”.

The team hope the findings will help shape our future palliative care response to COVID or other emergency situations. Palliative care professionals and services are at the fore-front of the response to COVID-19, helping to provide essential care to those seriously ill or dying with COVID-19.

The second project ‘Necessary conversations’ is an online tool to help staff in care homes have conversations with families and residents about planning what should happen if a resident got Cobid-19 or another condition that might result in an admission. The team is led by Queens University, Belfast and the project is funded by the ESRC.

Professor Nancy Preston said: “These conversations are difficult and at the moment we can’t just go into care homes. Using an online tool will help us support care homes during these difficult times.”

Care homes have been at the forefront of providing care to people with COVID-19 in community settings and it is important that they have appropriate tools to help them provide the most effective care.

Alongside the UK Research and Innovation and the National Institute for Health Research, Cicely Saunders International and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration, South London, partners on the project are the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), Marie Curie, Palliative Care Outcome Scale Development Team, Together for Short Lives, Sue Ryder and Hospice UK.

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