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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 projects underway. Our latest Communiques are below. To view them, click on the images below.

  • Palliative Care resources
  • This document highlights IHF resources that might be useful to health and social care professionals working in the primary palliative care setting.

Primary palliative care resources ireland 2020

  • Palliative Meds Information:

This newsletter hosts information relating to the use of medicines in palliative care. More information is available 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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