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Palliative Care named as new Clinical Academic Group

Palliative Care has been named as the twenty-second King’s Health Partners Clinical Academic Group (CAG) in recognition of its unique and outstanding offering in clinical care, research and training. 

palliative care_handsPalliative care is the active total care of patients with life-limiting illnesses. It includes control of pain, the management of other symptoms, and consideration of psychological, social and spiritual problems. The ultimate goal of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Many aspects of palliative care are applicable earlier in the course of an illness, as well as during end of life care. 

Palliative Care has a long and successful history within King’s Health Partners.  This is best demonstrated by the Cicely Saunders Institute at Denmark Hill, the first purpose-built institute for research into palliative care. It brings together academics, healthcare professionals, community organisations, patients and carers in one centre and acts as the hub for a network of international research. It offers high quality palliative care solutions to patients, as well as providing education, patient information and support. 

The formation of the new CAG will help bring together the wide range of collaborative and cross-CAG work already underway in advancing palliative care excellence in clinical service, research, and education and training across our partnership and beyond. 

Professor Irene Higginson, Professor of Palliative Care and Policy at King’s College London and Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute, says: 

Palliative care is a vital and core part of Health and Social Care, and the NHS. As voiced by the Cicely Saunders institute: ‘You matter because you are you, and you matter all the days of your life’.  As people live longer with more treatments, Palliative Care is increasingly vital to improving health care quality, and helping people to live well.  We are delighted our efforts, and ambitions, have been recognised by the creation of this CAG. 

Professor John Moxham, Director of Clinical Strategy for King’s Health Partners, says:

We hope that the formation of the Palliative Care CAG will help the team to build on their previous successes to drive improvement in outcomes and excellence across our partner organisations, as well as providing more opportunities to collaborate and share learning with our other CAGs. They also have a crucial role to play in helping us deliver our ambitions for integrating mental and physical health across our partnership.

Our 22 Clinical Academic Groups (CAGs) are the vehicle through which our tripartite mission for excellence in clinical care, research and education is delivered across and within our four partner organisations. They bring experts in their field together so that we can offer patients the very best care and treatment, based upon reliable research evidence that works.

The new Palliative Care CAG will now go through a formal process of leadership appointment, forming a CAG Executive team and developing an Outcomes Book, which they aim to publish in 2018.