16 November 2022

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Looking forward to Hospice UK conference

Our Senior Educationalist, Maaike Vandeweghe, looks ahead to Hospice UK’s annual conference and urges readers to take inspiration from its forward looking theme to engage in our ambitious conference programme for 2023.

This month’s Hospice UK annual conference is always a fantastic opportunity to meet colleagues from across the country. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect and re-connect, to listen and to learn and, importantly, to lift your head out of your own little world to find out what’s going on in the wider world of palliative and end of life care.

I’m also feeling excited and inspired by this year’s conference theme, Finding a way forward. It’s this future focus that aligns perfectly with what we as a team, here at St Christopher’s CARE, have been doing over the last few weeks and months – designing a programme of education and learning fit for our times and our workforce.

In one of my previous blogs, I touched on some of our plans for how we hope to introduce a conference series which aims to offer opportunities to explore new concepts and ideas and address issues that historically haven’t been considered part of the palliative care mainstream.

We’re still just putting the very finishing touches to the calendar, but, hot off the press, I can reveal that the cutting-edge programme for 2023 will feature 15 conferences. A number of them tackle brand new issues for us.  I am so pleased that we will be in a position to challenge the status quo, to consider together with you how practice can and should evolve. I hope that through what we have planned we will inspire a movement for change, change in practice as well as maybe as policy and collaborative working.

I feel so very strongly about the importance of shining a light on challenging issues like dementia, mental health, heart failure, bereavement and spiritual care. We must attend to these topics urgently, in terms of how they relate to palliative and end of life care. Reflecting again on the theme of the Hospice UK conference, I trust others will share our enthusiasm for a programme that focuses on the role nursing has to play in the way forward, wider future planning as well as cognitive behavioural therapy and the place of technology in palliative care.

We know that the whole health and social care workforce is enduring one of its toughest periods ever and it can be a struggle not to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and demotivated. We promise that our programme for 2023 will build on the transformational approach we’ve taken this year, when we’ve tackled issues like homelessness and the role of rehabilitative palliative care. Our events will challenge existing practice through evidence, lived experience and expertise and, as a result, inspire you in your daily work caring for people at the end of life.

For those of you going to the Hospice UK conference in Glasgow, look out for our stand: B8. Please do come and find me there, as I would love to have the opportunity to share our work with you and most importantly hear from you.

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