End-of-Life Care, 19 January, Edinburgh

End of Life main image.jpg

Walking stick


End-of-life care (EoL) refers to support for people who are in the last months and years of their lives, and who have incurable, terminal conditions. This process requires a range of decisions related to health and social care, including palliative and hospice care, end-of-life planning, financial arrangements, patients’ rights to self-determination (i.e. assisted suicide), medical experimentation, etc. It also raises questions about the proper allocation of finite medical resources to those with terminal, incurable illnesses.

A recent report from the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee found that while Scotland is providing adequate end-of-life and palliative care, it could be doing more to ensure that data about the quality and availability of this care is more robust. Overall, the rapidly ageing population requires additional work to ensure that people at the end of their lives have access to quality end-of-life health and social care.

The Event

Our event comes shortly after Westminster’s rejection of the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill and the Scottish Government’s publication of its Framework for Action on Palliative and End of Life Care.

Delegates will discuss key role that EoL plays in the last part of many lives around the nation. Further, it will allow opportunities for stakeholders to further debates on various facets EoL. Finally, the interactive session will allow delegates to identify the biggest obstacles to good EoL care in Scotland, and brainstorm solutions for healthcare experts, professional, policymakers, and families.

Key learning outcomes

  • Increased understandings of key aspects of EoL care including:
    • palliative care
    • death and dying
    • financial planning etc
  • Integrating better EoL care in NHS services
  • Identifying international examples for policy learning


09:30     Registration and refreshments

09:55     Introduction from Chair

  • Professor David Clark, Wellcome Trust Investigator, University of Glasgow

Session 1:  Exploring End-of-Life care

10:00    Keynote address

  • Dr Richard Simpson MSP Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife

10:10    An overview of palliative care in Scotland

  • Mark Hazelwood, CEO, Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care

10:30    Addressing (the lack of) public discourse around death and dying

  • Professor Scott Murray, St Columba's Hospice Chair of Primary Palliative Care, University of Edinburgh

10:50    End-of-life care from a professional and personal perspective

  • Dr Stephen McCabe, General Practitioner

11:05    Questions and discussion

11:25    Break

Session 2: End-of-life policy issues in Scotland

This session features experts who will explore the current policy issues debates surrounding end-of-life care in Scotland

11:40     Exploring the Scottish Government's Strategic Framework for Action

  • Professor Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead, Scottish Government         

12:00    The Third Sector's role in delivering the Scottish Government's framework

  • Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland, Marie Curie

12:20     Innovative thinking around care homes

  • Dr Jo Hockley OBE, Primary Palliative Care Research Group, University of Edinburgh

12:40    Questions and Discussion

13:00    Lunch

Session 3: Practicum/Workshop

The final session will feature interactive activities where delegates will be able to brainstorm ways in which end-of-life care in Scotland could be improved, amended, or changed

13:45    Open space session

14:30    Discussion

14:50    Closing remarks from the Chair

15:00    Close

Who should attend

Delegates will be drawn from a wide range of stakeholders including:

  • Policy and public affairs professionals
  • Public health professionals
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Social carers

Venue and costs

Event location: COSLA, Edinburgh

Delegate rate (includes refreshments and lunch):

  • Reduced rate: £149 + VAT (voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Discounted rate: £199 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, professional associations, charities with an annual income exceeding £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: £249 + VAT (Commercial organisations eg plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please contact Joshua Bird, by email Joshua.Bird@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1639