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The birth of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine

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Being taken round a New Zealand hospice I was amused and, let’s admit it, thrilled to see a well-worn copy of the book, its hard cover almost falling off. “Well used !” I said to the doctor. “ Yes indeed” he said:  “perfect for holding up the old piano!” Thankfully he then pointed to two… Continue reading

When palliative medicine became a specialty – by Derek Doyle

Published on: Author: David Clark 7 Comments

The University of Glasgow awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science to Derek Doyle, one of the pioneers of modern palliative care, in July 2014.  Since then Dr Doyle has been a popular and regular contributor to our blog. Here he blogs about the origins of palliative medicine as a specialty. Some readers may… Continue reading

Founding the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland – by Derek Doyle

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Derek Doyle 9 July 2014

The 1970s and 1980s saw palliative care services starting all over Britain – hospices and NHS ‘continuing care units’, day units, home care services, hospital consultation services, ‘hospice at home’. Those were undeniably exciting times but they brought many problems and challenges. Where were the trained staff? There were no plans or policies in place… Continue reading

Prepared to be different? By Derek Doyle

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Dr Derek Doyle

In previous posts I have told how exciting it was when the ‘pioneers’ of hospice/palliative care realised that, much as they thought they were introducing something new to patient care, they were in fact pleading for recognition and acceptance of the most basic, undeniable, ages-old features of compassionate care. Cynics described that as  ‘reinventing the… Continue reading

Just basic care? by Derek Doyle

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In a previous post on this blog – “Palliative Care Definitions & Discoveries” I told of what seemed like a discovery to some of us generously described as “pioneers.” We had suddenly realised that palliative care was no more, no less than good clinical care whatever the pathology of the illness or the gender, colour,… Continue reading

Definitions and Discoveries – by Derek Doyle

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I am old enough to be called “one of the pioneers of palliative care” but serious amnesia has not yet set in (so far as I remember)! I can recall much from those pioneering days, including the hours spent trying to devise comprehensive definitions so that, as we told each other “people will come to… Continue reading

A salute to Derek Doyle – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 9 Comments
Derek Doyle 9 July 2014

I am delighted to report that Dr Derek Doyle  received the award of Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Glasgow at a graduation ceremony on our Dumfries Campus, on 9 July. The award was made by the University Chancellor, Professor Sir Kenneth Calman. It was a special moment for the two of them,… Continue reading

Palliative medicine as a specialty

Published on: Author: David Clark 6 Comments

A new report has just appeared from the excellent Atlantes team at the University of Navarra in Spain. It sets out a detailed description of the development in Europe of palliative medicine as a field of specialisation. This is a challenging issue to study, in a context where modes of accreditation, licensing and associated procedural… Continue reading