Palliative care is at a pivotal point in its trajectory. For the last 50 years there has been a focus on service development for the new specialty, the safer use of opioids and obtaining the evidence that palliative care makes a difference, the earlier the better.
However the next 50 years will be a massive challenge, but also an opportunity. There will be a shortage of all physicians, not just palliative physicians and this is a perfect storm with our increased longevity, frailty and comorbidities.
The lecture will focus on potential solutions, drawing on global innovation and imagination. Having braver conversations about the future is all very well but we also need practical options to improve the care of dying people in all settings not just five-star hospices, and we need to be less risk-averse about supporting patient and family goals of care in a culture dominated by compliance rather than comfort and care!
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