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Rediscovering holism – the future for palliative care

Author: Derek Willis, Chair, The 11th Palliative Care Congress
19 February 2016

The biennial Palliative Care Congress is about to have its eleventh meeting. Congress in 2016 will be held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, from 9 to 11 March.

The event is a joint collaboration between the Association for Palliative Medicine and the Palliative Care Research Society and brings together practitioners involved in palliative care from across the specialty – doctors, nurses, researchers, social workers, bereavement officers and other allied health professions – from whatever contexts they practice – NHS, charity, hospital, day units.

Congress is a great opportunity to meet with others, share practice, understand what the national perspective is and think how new ideas could affect local practice.

The organising committee decided to centre the emphasis for this congress on holism. Palliative care has always stated that holism – treating people as people and addressing their medical, social, psychological and spiritual needs – is at the heart of the movement.

The challenge in the current health environment, where evidence and cost effectiveness are called for, is for palliative care to define (or redefine) how holism works and why it is still the right focus for care for those with life-limiting illness. 

To help us do this we have invited speakers who are engaging and challenging but also well recognised within their field.

Professor Arthur Frank will be speaking on the challenge to healthcare of survivorship. He will be expanding ideas first put forward in his landmark book ‘The wounded storyteller’.

Revd Dr John Bell will be talking on spiritual care within health. John is guardian of the Iona Community and a frequent speaker on Radio 4.

As well as our headline speakers we will be hosting posters and oral presentations of the latest research within the field, as well as updates on the latest in symptom control and a range of lectures, symposia, masterclasses and workshops.

The program is packed, varied and has something to challenge, stretch and make each delegate think. We look forward to learning with you in Glasgow.

For the latest information, please visit the Palliative Care Congress website.

ehospice UK will be reporting from the 11th Palliative Care Congress and you can also keep up with the action by following @PCCongress and the hashtag #PCC2016

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