Palliative Medicine is the medical specialty involved in the provision of palliative care. Palliative Care has been defined by the World Health Organisation (2002) as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”
The Academic Department of Palliative Medicine / ADPM is based within the Education & Research Centre at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross (Dublin). The ADPM is a joint venture involving Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services. Each of the main teaching hospitals has a palliative care service, and Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services provide specialist inpatient palliative care, and specialist community palliative care for patients in South Dublin and Wicklow.
Currently, the bulk of palliative care teaching occurs in the third year, with medical students having 3-4 week placements within Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services. These placements provide access to a range of palliative care services (inpatient hospice unit; community palliative care team; hospital palliative care teams, i.e. St. James’s Hospital, Tallaght University Hospital), as well as the gerontology and rheumatology services based within the hospice in Harold’s Cross. Placements include formal teaching, as well as clinical experience in the three specialties.
Additional palliative care lectures are provided throughout the curriculum, and there are opportunities for medical students to undertake audit / research projects within the department. Enquiries about undergraduate training should be directed to Dr Craig Gouldthorpe (TCD Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine - CGOULDTH@tcd.ie), or Prof Andrew Davies (TCD Professor of Palliative Medicine – firstname.lastname@example.org). Enquiries about medical electives should be directed to Alison Dunne (Academic Secretary - email@example.com).
Annually, two Palliative Medicine Specialist Registrars (SpRs) spend twelve months of their training in Our Lady’s Hospice. These training posts are approved by the Irish Committee for Higher Medical Training through the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The Hospice also facilitates General Practitioner training rotations at senior house officer level across the three sites at Harold’s. Cross, Blackrock and Wicklow. Lectures are provided as part of the Graduate Diplomas in Palliative Nursing and Gerontology in partnership with the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Sciences, UCD. A weekly journal club takes place on Monday afternoons with senior house officers, registrars, SpRs and consultants from Our Lady’s Hospice, Blackrock Hospice and Wicklow Hospice participating. A weekly Grand Rounds is held each Thursday morning with local, national and international speakers providing presentations on topics relevant to specialist Palliative Medicine.
The ADPM research team is based in the Education & Research Centre at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross (Dublin). The research team includes a Professor, two Clinical Lecturers, variable numbers of PhD candidates, variable numbers of MD candidates, three research nurses, and admin support.
The main focus is clinical research, and encompasses supportive care, palliative care, end-of-life care, and “cancer survivorship”. However, the ADPM has a track record of other types of research, including basic science, systematic reviews, and qualitative studies. Current research interests / projects include:
- Clinically assisted hydration in the last days of life – NIHR (UK) funded study (“CHELsea II trial”)
- “Navigators” to support older cancer patients – Horizon Europe funded study (“EU Navigate” trial)
- Disrupted circadian rhythms in advanced cancer patients – PhD project
- Remote monitoring of vital signs (using photoplethysmography) – PhD project
- Cannabinoid for anorexia / weight loss in cancer patients – commercial study
- Assessment of oral symptoms – MD project
- Xerostomia in advanced cancer patients – MD project
- Taste disturbance in advanced cancer patients – PhD project
- Opioid-induced constipation
- Palliative care for “cancer survivors” – PhD project
Prof Davies is Chair of the Palliative Care Research Network of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, and the ADPM collaborates with a number of local, national, and international researchers / research groups. Enquiries about research opportunities / collaborations should be directed to Prof Davies (firstname.lastname@example.org).
|Prof Andrew Davies||
Professor of Palliative Medicine;
|ADPM; Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services / OLH&CS; St. James’s Hospital||01 email@example.com|
|Dr Craig Gouldthorpe||
Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine
|ADPM; OLH&CS||01 4982537|
|Dr. Nora O'Leary||
Clinical Senior Lecturer
|St. James’s Hospital; OLH&CS||01 4068700|
|Dr Aoibheann Conneally||
Consultant in Palliative Medicine
|St. James’s Hospital; OLH&CS||01 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr. Stephen Higgins||Consultant in Palliative Medicine||Tallaght University Hospital; OLH&CS||01 email@example.com|
|Dr Lucy Balding||
Clinical Senior Lecturer
|Dr. Des O'Mahony||Consultant in Palliative Medicine||OLH&CS||01 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr. Paul Gregan||Consultant in Palliative Medicine||OLH&CS||01 email@example.com|