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Primary Palliative Care in Ireland

Download the GP OOH Palliative Care handover form

The development of primary palliative care services in Ireland has received a particular focus in the last decade. In 2009 Irish Hospice Foundation came together with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and the 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. Read the report.

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.

More info:

The following IHF communiques provide a summary of projects underway:
Aug 2020
Dec 2019
May 2018



This document highlights other IHF resources that might be useful to health and social care professionals working in the primary palliative care setting. Download here


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. Visit IPPCN

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 their work Visit EAPC

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. View the toolkit


Generalist Palliative Care Delivered By Community Nurses
Carroll, D., Shanagher, D. & Lynch, M. Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing 2016:2;2
Full text 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
Full text 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
Full text here

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