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The International Collaborative and the EAPC launch new Task Force on Care for the Dying

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

The International Collaborative for Best Care for the Dying Person has joined forces with the European Association for Palliative Care to establish a new EAPC Task Force on Care for the Dying. With its unique focus on care in the last days and hours of life, this initiative represents a remarkable synergy of expertise and shared vision in the field of palliative care.

The Task Force on Care for the Dying is committed to acting as a catalyst for change in this important area, advocating for improved end-of-life care across Europe and beyond through its delivery of research, quality improvement and education activities. Included in this range of activities are the following:

  • A quarterly webinar programme focusing on end of life care

  • A bi-monthly newsletter

  • Joint meetings between the International Collaborative and the EAPC Task Force at, for example, EAPC Congresses and the Collaborative's Annual Symposium and Summer School

At the heart of the Task Force's mission lies the development of and EAPC White Paper on Care for the Dying, the purpose of which will be to increase awareness among healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the general public about the importance of providing high-quality care to individuals at the end of life. With a specific focus on the last hours and days of life, the paper will address physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of dying, as well as broader considerations including cultural, societal and political factors. The White Paper will also act as a reference tool for clinicians, offering insights into symptom management, communication strategies, cultural considerations, and ethical dilemmas, empowering healthcare professionals to deliver more effective patient-centred care. In promoting a shared understanding of the complex needs of dying patients and their families, it will encourage physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and psychologists to work together to provide holistic care that addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of end-of-life care.

Overall, the impact of the EAPC Task Force on Care for the Dying lies in its potential to drive positive change in policies, clinical practices, interdisciplinary collaboration, caregiver support, research, and patient empowerment. By providing guidance and evidence-based recommendations in the form of a White Paper, it can contribute to improving the quality of end-of-life care and promote a more compassionate and dignified experience for dying individuals and their loved ones.

The Task Force will be chaired by Professor John Ellershaw of the University of Liverpool, UK, a renowned figure in end-of-life care and chair of the International Collaborative for Best Care for the Dying Person. Co-chairing will be Professor Agnes van der Heide, and international leader in research into care for the dying and Professor of End of Life Care and Decision Making at Erasmus University, The Netherlands.

Speaking about the creation of the Task Force, Professor Ellershaw said, "The International Collaborative Executive Committee is delighted to be working with the EAPC on this important Task Force. Through evidence-based guidelines, policy advocacy, and global collaboration, we aim to make a major impact, ensuring the highest quality of care, comfort, and support for dying people and their families across Europe and beyond."

If you are interested in joining the EAPC Task Force on Care for the Dying, please email

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