Grasping the nettle… the future of palliative care in Scotland

Mark HazelwoodHow does the future of palliative care in Scotland look? Well, talking to friends involved in death and dying down South, pretty good actually.

That’s in no small part to the work of an active and engaged group of people who meet as the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care and who run the website Good Life Good Death Good Grief and its events, like To Absent Friends festival.  Their ethos is not to be a top down organisation, making decisions and telling others what to do and how to do it. Their approach is to work together, facilitate, collaborate.

They’ve just finished reporting on a consultation about the future of palliative care in Scotland. They have around 50 members – organisation and individuals – who contributed over a period from May-November.

Mark Hazelwood (pictured above) chief executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (SPPC), reveals some of the thinking behind the partnership’s report on the future of palliative care, Grasping the nettle:

Its aim is to support, inform and enrich the work of the Scottish government in developing a strategic framework.

Its vision is that Scotland will be a place where:

  • people’s wellbeing is supported even as their health declines
  • people die well
  • people are supported throughout bereavement.

It tries to be very clear about terminology to get everyone on the same page.

It identifies 38 actions… “A busy agenda,” Mark says, “but then this is a big issue and the scale of change required is huge.”

The report’s proposals cover education, advance care planning, leadership and the role of government and others in creating the conditions that support and enable change.

Scottish Government’s framework for the future of palliative care in Scotland is due to be published any day. 

Background reading

  1. Palliative and end of life care in Scotland: the case for a cohesive approach. Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.
  2. The crowd speaks: Top 10 barriers to change.Health Services Journal.
  3. The 3-step improvement framework for Scotland’s public services. The Scottish Government.


One thought on “Grasping the nettle… the future of palliative care in Scotland

  1. Palliative care is quickly becoming a vital service in order to ensure the best health and assisitance of the seniors of our families. There needs to be proper framework to ensure that the best is provided for the elders.

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