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Primary Palliative Care in Ireland

Developing primary palliative care services in Ireland

The development of primary palliative care services in Ireland has received a particular focus in recent years. In 2009 the Irish Hospice Foundation came together with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to embark upon a joint programme of work to support the development of primary palliative care in Ireland.

Phase One: Reporting on Primary Palliative Care in Ireland

The initial aim of this programme was to identify specific areas where steps might be taken to enhance the care of those with palliative care needs. The report of this first phase of the programme, was published in 2011. To read the report, click on the image below.
  primary palliative care in ireland

Phase Two: Establishing a National Steering Committee

The second phase commenced in 2012 with the establishment of a National Steering Committee, which includes representatives of the fields of both primary care and specialist palliative care, as well as from the HSE’s Palliative Care Programme. This committee is now overseeing the implementation of the recommendations prioritised in the report.

For more information on Primary Palliative Care in Ireland:

  • The Primary Palliative Care in Ireland Communiques provide a summary of existing projects underway. The first Communique was distributed June 2014 and the second July 2015. To view them, click on the images below.
PPC Communique   PPC Communique July 2015
  • Palliative Meds Palliative Newsletter:
The highlights of this newsletter include a focus on wound care and the evidence to support the use of topical preparations in palliative care. An updated version of the OLH & CS Opioid Conversion Chart is now available. Other updates to documents that are currently available on the Palliative Meds Info webpages are highlighted. Click here or Email: palliativemedsinfo@olh.ie
  • International Primary Palliative Care Network (IPPCN):
This international group are committed to see palliative care practiced as a core part of comprehensive primary care practice. For more information click here.
  • European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC):
The aim of the EAPC is to promote palliative care in Europe and to act as a focus for all of those who work, or have an interest, in the field of palliative care at the scientific, clinical and social levels. For an update on the work of the EAPC, click here A toolkit to facilitate the development of palliative care in the community was developed and has been identified as a means whereby palliative care can be integrated into primary health care. For more information about this click here. Poster outlining Irish Progress against EAPC tool kit available here.


  • Generalist Palliative Care Delivered By Community Nurses
Carroll, D., Shanagher, D. & Lynch, M. Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing 2016:2;2 The full text of the article can be accessed here.
  • Information transfer to out-of-hours co-operatives: a survey of general practitioners’ views in relation to palliative patients
Kiely F, Murphy , O’Brien T. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013;3: 405-411 The full text of the article can be accessed here
  • What tools are available to identify patients with palliative care needs in primary care: a systematic literature review and survey of European practice
Lydon GM, Shergill NK, Campion-Smith C, et al. BMJ Supportive & Palliative care2013;3:412-241 For full text of this article click here
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