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Innovation could help improve palliative healthcare globally

DOHA, QATAR: Innovations which could help dramatically improve palliative care for end-of-life patients around the world were set out in a report published at the Word Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) today.
Advances in medicine, nutrition, and other factors have allowed people to live longer. While where and when we die is regularly studied, how we die is often avoided or ignored. Each year, over 100 million people worldwide would benefit from palliative care, yet fewer than 8% of those in need are able to access it.
Delegates discussed developments in eight diverse national healthcare systems and how these could be adapted and implemented elsewhere. The report, provides recommendations for policymakers to improve affordability and access to pain and symptom relief, and ways in which the innovative use of data could support low cost innovation for end of life care. The research also set out definitive best practice implemented by these countries, healthcare providers and policy makers to provide effective end of life care. Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Executive Chair of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, London and End of Life Forum Chair said: “The impact of poor end-of-life care is as large on the families as on the person who is dying. 4 billion people have no access to appropriate pain relief such as opioids and morphine, which not only affects the dying but also their loved ones. Nobody wants to watch someone they care for going through so much pain. This is an unacceptable way to spend the last part of life. The End-of-Life-Care report aims to tackle head-on the challenges facing end-of-life and palliative care today”.
“Appropriate training for health workers and knowledge transfer to the public using the appropriate language is key to transforming end-of-life care for all. The experience of dying can be made that bit easier when medics are trained so they possess the emotional intelligence to have those difficult conversations about death and dying”
End of Life Care is one of eight areas being discussed at the Summit taking place in Doha, Qatar on 10 and 11 December, where world leading experts will join an influential cast of heads of state, government ministers, academics, clinicians, policy makers and business leaders to discuss innovative solutions to some of the most pressing global health challenges. As well as End of Life Care, there will be reports on Accountable Care, Big Data and Healthcare, Antimicrobial Resistance, Mental Health, Obesity, Patient Engagement and Road Traffic Injuries.
The Right Honourable Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London added, “Healthcare systems have to change and embrace the need to develop innovative approaches for end-of-life care. The report sets out practical steps that can be taken by policy makers to produce better care and better economic value.”
WISH opened today in Doha and is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. End of Life Care Report Summary
The report includes nine detailed examples of end-of-life care from around the world:

  • Bangladesh and Myanmar: Lien Collaborative for training of trainers, enabling establishment of new palliative care services
  • Canada: Social networks for palliative and end-of-life care.
  • Colombia: WHO public health approach to improve opioid access and improve palliative care.
  • India: Kerala community model, using volunteers to provide services.
  • Nigeria: Improving access to oral morphine through international partnership.
  • Uganda: Training nurses to prescribe opioids and a community approach to identifying need.
  • UK: Coordinate My Care; electronic records for holding patient’s end-of-life preferences.
  • Ukraine: Improving availability and access to morphine through government regulation.
  • US: Death Over Dinner/The Conversation project: talking about death and dying.

Recommendations for policy-makers
The report details five key actions policy-makers can take to improve end-of-life care:

  1. Make care of the dying a priority for all, starting with a national strategy for end-of-life care.
  2. Reduce unnecessary suffering at the end of life by improving access to pain and symptom relief.
  3. Improve knowledge and use data to drive innovation through development of research.
  4. Maximize resources, using technology and low-cost innovation to improve access and quality.
  5. Improve skills by developing training

2. About Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett
Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett is the Executive Chair of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, London.
A trustee for the King’s Fund, he is a former Chief Executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care and has led a number of independent reviews into health and social care issues. After 22 years in banking, Thomas joined Marie Curie Cancer Care in 2000. In 2010 and 2011 he chaired an independent Philanthropy Review, a collaboration of voluntary and private sector bodies which looked to identify ways of achieving a step-change in charitable giving in the UK. He serves on the King’s Fund General Advisory Council, and has acted as chairman of the End of Life Care Implementation Advisory Board, as review chair for the Palliative Care Funding Review for adults and children in England and as a trustee of Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
3. About WISH
The inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), due to be held in Doha, Qatar on 10-11 December 2013, will bring together heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and thinkers, as well as the most influential business leaders, to stimulate implementation of practical, sustainable and innovative solutions to tackle global health challenges.
The purpose of WISH is to encourage collaboration and innovation in health policy, health systems and health care delivery, in order to close the gap between what we know and what we do in the fields of healthcare and medicine.
WISH is aligned with the mission and vision of Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Vision 2030, and serves to highlight Qatar’s growing role as an emerging center for healthcare innovation. As the nation stands at the forefront of healthcare reform, Qatar Foundation has embarked upon several promising research-health initiatives, including partnerships with Weill-Cornell Medical College, Biobank Qatar, Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre, Virgin Health Bank, and Sidra Medical and Research Center.
For more information on WISH, please visit: http://www.wish-qatar.org/
4. Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organisation that is supporting Qatar on its journey from carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF carries out its mission through three strategic pillars: education, science and research, and community development. QF’s education pillar brings world-class universities to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. Meanwhile, its science and research pillar builds Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising solutions through key sciences. Finally, its community development pillar helps foster a progressive society while also enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar’s heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa
For more information about Qatar Foundation please contact our press office at: [email protected]

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