14 countries join PACED’s online consultation on education, 29 November 2021

This applies to collaboration between countries inside the region, and also to learning from countries outside the region such as the UK.

During the last few months there have been several events bringing together the palliative care community from around the region, all held bilingually in Russian and English. In October there was a meeting at the EAPC Congress, followed in early November by a full day’s session at Russia’s main palliative care conference.

On 29 November PACED built on these initiatives by running a regional consultation to advance palliative care education. Held online, PACED’s collaborators across the region formed country delegations including a mix of practitioners, educators and NGOs. This led to over 50 people from fourteen countries coming together to describe challenges, share ideas and consider practical solutions.

The meeting began with participants hearing from Dr Susie Wilkinson from the Centre for Communication Skills at the Palliative Care Institute, University of Liverpool. Susie described the importance of communication skills in providing good quality palliative care, and explained how her institute had developed a very successful two day course. She also explained how, to her great surprise, the pandemic had revealed that many communication skills can effectively be taught online.

The meeting then held open discussions to consider two themes: first, a focus on education for healthcare workers – both before they qualify and throughout their careers. Participants discussed the different challenges in primary, secondary and tertiary/specialist settings and the role that online learning can play. The discussion then turned to the challenges facing educators in medical and nursing schools, where faculty members may not have clinical experience of palliative care, teach in isolation from other educators and without the back-up of a palliative care department. The many insightful contributions of this session is intended to help PACED plan its programme of work for 2022.

The evaluations from the meeting confirmed this is valuable and necessary work. “Thank for very much for this brilliant initiative!” wrote one participant. We are now writing up a full report on the meeting which we look forward to sharing with you soon.