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Launch of the Dutch National Centre of expertise in Children’s Palliative Care

13 February 2018
  • Guest speakers on the day, Prof Julia Downing, Chief Executive of ICPCN and Prof Eduard Verhagen, head of Beatrix Children's Hospital in Groningen and Professor in paediatric palliative care.

The Netherlands children's palliative care organisation 'PAL' recognised their 10 year anniversary with a day of celebration and the launch of a new information website for professionals and families.

At the end of November 2017, “PAL”, Expertise Foundation celebrated its ten-year jubilee. On this day, the national Centre of Knowledge and Information (“kennis centrum”) for Children’s Palliative Care was also launched.

It was a very successful and a lovely anniversary celebration. The afternoon was extra special because of the participation of guests who have collaborated with the PAL Foundation in the last 10 years. People from the very beginning, former board members, patient organizations and other parties involved in PAL attended. During the afternoon a number of guests were asked about their involvement and achievements during the 10 years which resulted in beautiful stories!

Two special speakers gave very interesting and inspiring messages.

Professor Julia Downing, Chief Executive of The International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), spoke about the development of children’s palliative care worldwide. She emphasized that the Netherlands already has well developed services and that good progress has been made in recent years. The Netherlands was falling behind a few years ago, in comparison with other countries, but is now well on track and at the forefront of children’s palliative care. Something to be proud of!

Professor of children’s palliative care, Eduard Verhagen, shared from his practical experience the great importance of embedding children’s palliative care in the training of paediatricians. He also spoke about how he discusses children's palliative care with doctors in training. He indicated that many doctors find it difficult to discuss this topic with parents and children.

Professor Eduard Verhagen is one of the co-initiators of the Centre of Knowledge and Information in Children's Palliative Care
, on behalf of the Dutch Society for Paediatrics (NVK).

National centre of knowledge and information

The national Centre of Knowledge and Information in Children's Palliative Care website was launched at the end of the afternoon.

Meggi Schuiling, Director of the PAL Foundation and the person responsible for the information centre said, "Centralising knowledge and information is our vision. The paediatric palliative care information centre connects all national and international knowledge in one central place and ensures that it is being incorporated in the regions and in the workplace, with the aim of ensuring that care is available as close as possible to the family. The information centre is accessible to parents with a child in need of children's palliative care and by professionals."

"We also want to further professionalise children’s palliative care, through training. The centre strives to do more training in the field of children’s palliative care and we want to map out all training, education and refresher courses so that healthcare professionals know where to go. Naturally, we will also continue to bring children’s palliative care to the attention of politicians, policy makers and healthcare providers."

 “KCT” Children Comfort Teams & “NIK” Network for Integral Childcare

In addition, the activities of the Centre of Knowledge and Information, go one step further. Carolien Huizinga, project leader for policy development from the Paediatric Palliative Care Information Centre, adds: "We ensure that the established Children Comfort Teams (KCT) within the Academic Children's Hospital continue to develop and we coordinate regional Networks promoting Integral Childcare (NIK). We connect teams and networks with each other and promote interaction between them. "

The Centre of Knowledge and Information in Children's Palliative Care is now the place where knowledge regarding children’s palliative care is anchored and shared.

Learn more at http://www.kinderpalliatief.nl

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