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Speciality: Palliative Medicine

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/441

Palliative Medicine is the branch of medicine involved in the treatment of patients with advanced, progressive, life-threatening disease (malignant or non-malignant) for whom the focus of care is maximising their quality of life through expert symptom management and psychological, social and spiritual support as part of a multi-professional team. There is close involvement with families and carers at all stages. Palliative Medicine physicians may work in hospital, in the community and in hospices or other specialist palliative care units. Many consultant posts involve working in multiple settings.

Within the hospice/inpatient specialist palliative care unit environment, Palliative Medicine physicians deliver specialist palliative care to patients with complex problems in addition to managing concurrent general medical problems and emergencies which may arise in patients in the context of advanced malignant and non malignant disease. Doctors may be involved with complex discharge planning arrangements and be exposed to a variety of models of bereavement care.

Within day hospice, a multi-professional team delivers specialist palliative care. This involves close liaison with primary care colleagues.

Within the hospital setting, Palliative Medicine physicians work with clinical nurse specialists in palliative care, and other multi-professional team members, in an advisory role. This involves working with a variety of hospital-based teams to enhance the palliative care of inpatients with specialist palliative care needs.

In the outpatient setting, Palliative Medicine physicians manage specialist palliative care problems in conjunction with primary care colleagues and other hospital consultants including oncologists, cardiologists etc.

In the community, Palliative Medicine physicians work with clinical nurse specialists and other members of the multi-professional team to advise primary care colleagues in the specialist aspects of palliative care for patients in their own homes and in nursing homes.

A vital part of a Palliative Medicine physician’s role is in teaching and training, both for fellow specialists and non specialists. In Scotland there are many opportunities for Palliative Medicine physicians to be involved in teaching and training various disciplines. Participation in audit is expected in all settings and research has a strong base in Scotland with two established Professors of Palliative Medicine and a Professor of Primary Palliative Care all actively involved in promoting and producing high quality research. Many Palliative Medicine physicians have important management roles both locally and regionally, and across NHS and Voluntary sectors.

Palliative Medicine training in Scotland is well established with four separate training locations offering broad experience in a number of different clinical settings. The Scottish Training Programme operates four distinct training programmes.

These programmes operate in the West of Scotland based in and around Glasgow, the South East of Scotland based in and around Edinburgh, the East of Scotland based in and around Dundee and the North of Scotland, based in and around Aberdeen. Trainees are appointed to one of these four locations and rotate through the hospitals and specialist palliative care units in that geographical location.

Each of the four training programmes offers a solid foundation in specialist palliative care inpatient unit. Each programme also offers a period of time in a hospital specialist palliative care team to enable trainees to gain extensive experience of the acute hospital service. Each programme offers specialty trainees experience in delivering community based palliative care, and experience in the outpatient and day hospice environment. The programmes also offer experience in oncology units, chronic pain teams, and paediatric palliative care. Each of the programmes also offers extensive experience dealing with non malignant disease. In some of the rotations this will be in the form of blocks of time in different specialties (e.g. renal medicine, respiratory medicine), while in others it is a more integral part of the service already provided by the existing specialist palliative care units and the experience is gained as part of the attachment to the specialist palliative care units themselves. Each of the training programmes offers an education programme for trainees and in addition there is a series of national training days planned to allow trainees Scotland wide to get together in a shared learning environment.

There are established opportunities for trainees with an interest in academic palliative medicine to integrate this into their training and for those with an interest and aptitude there is the opportunity for out of programme experience leading to a higher degree.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Palliative medicine is the branch of medicine involved in the treatment of patients with advanced, progressive, life-threatening disease (malignant or non-malignant) for whom the focus of care is maximising their quality of life through expert symptom management and psychological, social and spiritual support as part of a multi-professional team. There is close involvement with families and carers at all stages. Palliative medicine physicians may work in hospital, in the community and in hospices or other specialist palliative care units. Many consultant posts involve working in multiple settings.

Within the hospice/inpatient specialist palliative care unit environment, Palliative Medicine physicians deliver specialist palliative care to patients with complex problems in addition to managing concurrent general medical problems and emergencies which may arise in patients in the context of advanced malignant and non malignant disease. Doctors may be involved with complex discharge planning arrangements and be exposed to a variety of models of bereavement care.

Within day hospice, a multi-professional team delivers specialist palliative care. This involves close liaison with primary care colleagues.

Within the hospital setting, Palliative Medicine physicians work with clinical nurse specialists in palliative care, and other multi-professional team members, in an advisory role. This involves working with a variety of hospital-based teams to enhance the palliative care of inpatients with specialist palliative care needs.

In the outpatient setting, Palliative Medicine physicians manage specialist palliative care problems in conjunction with primary care colleagues and other hospital consultants including oncologists, cardiologists etc.

In the community, Palliative Medicine physicians work with clinical nurse specialists and other members of the multi-professional team to advise primary care colleagues in the specialist aspects of palliative care for patients in their own homes and in nursing homes.

A vital part of a Palliative Medicine physician's role is in teaching and training, both for fellow specialists and non specialists. In Scotland there are many opportunities for Palliative Medicine physicians to be involved in teaching and training various disciplines. Participation in audit is expected in all settings and research has a strong base in Scotland with 2 established Professors of Palliative Medicine and a Professor of Primary Palliative Care all actively involved in promoting and producing high quality research. Many Palliative Medicine physicians have important management roles both locally and regionally, and across NHS and Voluntary sectors.

Palliative Medicine training in Scotland is well established with four separate training locations offering broad experience in a number of different clinical settings. The Scottish Training Programme operates four distinct training programmes.

These programmes operate in the West of Scotland based in and around Glasgow, the South East of Scotland based in and around Edinburgh, the East of Scotland based in and around Dundee and the North of Scotland, based in and around Aberdeen. Trainees are appointed to one of these four locations and rotate through the hospitals and specialist palliative care units in that geographical location.

Each of the four training programmes offers a solid foundation in specialist palliative care inpatient unit. Each programme also offers a period of time in a hospital specialist palliative care team to enable trainees to gain extensive experience of the acute hospital service. Each programme offers specialty trainees experience in delivering community based palliative care, and experience in the outpatient and day hospice environment. The programmes also offer experience in oncology units, chronic pain teams, and paediatric palliative care. Each of the programmes also offers extensive experience dealing with non malignant disease. In some of the rotations this will be in the form of blocks of time in different specialties (e.g. renal medicine, respiratory medicine), while in others it is a more integral part of the service already provided by the existing specialist palliative care units and the experience is gained as part of the attachment to the specialist palliative care units themselves. Each of the training programmes offers an education programme for trainees and in addition there is a series of national training days planned to allow trainees Scotland wide to get together in a shared learning environment.

There are established opportunities for trainees with an interest in academic palliative medicine to integrate this in to their training and for those with an interest and aptitude there is the opportunity for out of programme experience leading to a higher degree.

Each of the rotations offers multiple experiences for audit and teaching.

Where is the training delivered?
This programme involves placements in some or all of these Health Boards and hospitals:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Beatson (the) West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow, Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Roxburghe House, Aberdeen, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Stracathro Hospital, Angus, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Borders General Hospital, Melrose, Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, Royal Victoria Hospital, Dundee

West of Scotland rotation – Hunters Hill Marie Curie Centre, The Ayrshire Hospice, Strathcarron Hospice,  The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

South East Scotland rotation – Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, St Columba’s Hospice, Edinburgh Marie Curie Centre Fairmile, 
Edinburgh Fife Palliative Care Service Kirkcaldy, Borders General Hospital Melrose.

East Scotland rotation - Roxburghe House Dundee, Ninewells Hospital , Cornhill Macmillan Centre Perth, Royal Victoria Hospital Dundee, Stracathro Hospital Angus

North Scotland rotation - Roxburghe House Aberdeen, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Highland Hospice Inverness, Woodend Hospital Aberdeen

Contacts and Useful Links
Deanery sponsoring programme South-East of Scotland
Postgraduate Dean Professor Alastair McLellan
Responsible Associate - GP Director Dr David Marshall
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System http://www.jrcptb.org.uk/specialties/ST3-SpR/Pages/Palliative-Medicine.aspx#Curriculum-Assessment
Deanery Administrative Contacts Name: Audrey McPetrie
Address: NES, 2 Central Quay, 89 Hydepark Street, Glasgow, G3 8BW
Tel: 0141 223 1440
Email: audrey.mcpetrie@nes.scot.nhs.uk
Programme Director Name: Dr Kathleen Sherry
Email: Kathleen.sherry@aaaht.scot.nhs.uk
Address:
Quality of Training GMC Trainee Survey Information (2011)

How to Apply


This page was last updated on: 11.01.2021 at 08.59.