Northern Palliative Care Research Programme


The purpose of this initiative is to deliver the best possible palliative and end of life care for the residents of the North East and beyond, through integrated research and service transformation. It will seek to address two key societal questions:

1. What is the experience of people living with, and dying from an incurable condition?

2. How can we improve that experience?

The Northern Palliative Care Research Programme consists of:

St Oswald’s Hospice
Newcastle University
Northumbria University
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Marie Curie

The vision is to ultimately deliver internationally recognised research to enhance and deliver the best palliative care for all. The focus will be on improving palliative care for people living with the major health challenges of the 21st century: cancer, ageing, multi-morbidity and organ failure through research focused on:

– Understanding and improving the patient and carer experience of living with a life limiting condition

– Innovative service provision: development and evaluation of better integrated models of care

– Optimising treatment delivery and organisation of care to address key challenges in palliative care

– Decision making and anticipatory planning

For research to be meaningful, it needs to lead to change. A second component is a service transformation programme to translate the research findings for the benefit of individual patients and families.  This is being scoped with clinical provider organisations. Twinning cutting edge research with driving quality improvement through the three key sectors in end of life care is an innovative and unique model in the country. The service transformation programme will implement the research through specific improvement projects. Evaluation and remodelling will underpin the process and raise further research questions.

Current ongoing research:

1. Inappropriate use of medication in patients with limited life expectancy: a cross sectional study among hospices in the North East of England
2. Hospices North East Clinical Dataset Analysis
3. The independent hospices for children and young people; Hospices North East
4. Meeting the legal needs of adults with life limiting illness: a scoping exercise and development of an inter-professional educational intervention.
5. Strengthening the foundations for excellent care; reducing unwanted acute admissions

Completed Research:

Management of Lymphoedema by Independent Hospices: A Cohort Study – please click here to view the research paper.

We are about to commence more research over the next coming months, please check back on this page for more updates.

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