Posts by David Clark

Thinking critically about the Liverpool Care Pathway

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It is almost 20 years since ideas about an integrated pathway for the care of the dying were formulated by John Ellershaw and his colleagues in Liverpool. When I first heard the originator speak about it at a lunchtime seminar in Sheffield in November 2001, I recall a two-fold reaction. On the one hand it… Continue reading

Can palliative care improve society? Cicely Saunders and the moral order of dying

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In 1961 Cicely Saunders, in a short article written for a general audience, observed:  ‘A society which shuns the dying must have an incomplete philosophy’ [1]. The remark is loaded with import. In her observation, ‘the dying’, seem to constitute a known social category. Not only neglected, they are persistently avoided, ignored, or rejected through… Continue reading

A moment for compassion

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In recent times I have been struck by the widespread use of the term ‘compassion’. It is being colonized by many groups, organisations  and discourses – sometimes with rather opposing purposes. Widely used by the supporters of palliative care, it has also been adopted by those that promote assisted dying. It is found in the… Continue reading

Celebrating the centenary of Cicely Saunders

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Dame Cicely Saunders (courtesy of Christopher Saunders’)

In 2018 we are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Cicely Saunders. She is the acknowledged founder of the modern hospice movement which led to the creation of the palliative care specialty. So we can expect to see a wide range of events and activities to mark the occasion, not only in her own country, but… Continue reading

Intergenerational housing with care

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Professor David Clark

There’s a buzz around about ‘mixing’ across the generations, bringing benefits to young and old alike. The Channel Four series about the St Monica Trust ‘Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds’ showed the exciting things that happen when children and older residents spend sustained time together, and also made for great viewing. Hospices like… Continue reading

Pain relief and palliative care around the world – new ideas from a Lancet Commission

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We have very few global landmarks in the evolution of palliative care. So when a new one comes along it is important to take note, to reflect, and to consider the implications. The report of the Lancet Commission on Pain and Palliative Care is such a work. I was fortunate to be asked to join… Continue reading

Why we compared the level of provision of specialist palliative care services in Scotland with European benchmarks

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L-R Michelle Gillies, David Clark, Hamilton Inbadas, José Miguel Carrasco

Our latest study on the provision of palliative care in Scotland has a focus on the delivery of specialist services. We recognise of course that much  palliative care is also delivered in non-specialist settings: in general practices, across hospitals, in care homes, and in the community. A big driver within the Scottish Government’s 2015 Strategic… Continue reading