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Professor Max Watson joins Hospice UK’s clinical team

Author: Leila Hawkins
12 May 2017

Palliative care clinician Professor Max Watson is joining Hospice UK’s clinical team.

Professor Watson is an eminent palliative care clinician and academic, and the driving force behind the highly successful Project ECHO Northern Ireland. 

He is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster, Honorary and Senior Lecturer at Queens University in Belfast, Visiting Professor at the Virtual Academy at St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton, and Honorary Consultant at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher.

Professor Watson has authored and edited numerous books including the Oxford Handbook of Palliative Care and the Palliative Adult Network Guidelines (PANG). He has also taught and lectured extensively across the world.

Project ECHO was originally developed at the University of New Mexico, using videoconferencing technology to help train primary care clinicians to provide specialist services for people with complex health conditions, including palliative care. Watson piloted the use of ECHO in Northern Ireland in 2014, and has led and promoted the growth of ECHO networks in the UK and Europe from Northern Ireland through the project’s “Superhub” in Belfast. A superhub trains and supports other hubs using the ECHO model.

He has also championed the use of ECHO technology in Northern Ireland as a means of ‘democratising medical knowledge’, improving the delivery of palliative care in rural areas and expanding its reach to more people who need this form of care.

He joins Hospice UK as Project ECHO Programme Director later this month. In his new role he will play a pivotal part in delivering the key goals of Hospice UK’s new five-year strategy. He will help extend the reach of hospice care and also lead the development of skills and expertise of professionals in other care settings to support people at the end of life. 

Commenting on his new appointment, Professor Watson said:

“I’m really looking forward to working as part of the Hospice UK team and working to improve access to consistent quality end of life care across the UK.”

“After many years of working in the Northern Ireland Hospice, the move to Hospice UK is a really exciting opportunity to learn and share new ideas as we look to a future filled with an increasing need for improved care, but ever growing demands on limited resources.” 

“Working with Project ECHO at Hospice UK will provide a fantastic opportunity to create communities of practice among hospice teams to better support and extend our services to people who were previously difficult to reach.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, added:

“We are absolutely delighted that Max is joining Hospice UK.”

“With his distinguished career in palliative care, including his impressive achievements with Project ECHO, he will be a tremendous asset to our clinical team.

“Max will provide the strong clinical leadership needed to take Project ECHO national, embed its ethos and approach into the UK hospice sector and help significantly extend the reach of hospice care to more people who need it.“

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