International Observatory on End of Life Care

The aim of the International Observatory on End of Life Care is to undertake high quality research, clinical studies, evaluation, education, advocacy and consultancy to improve palliative and end of life care for patients and family carers. The Observatory works closely with the local health and social care community in the North West, as well as nationally and internationally. We offer a range of methodological and theoretical expertise drawn from clinical and social science perspectives.

Group photograph of some of the members of the IOELC

Group photograph of some of the members of the IOELC

Our aims are to improve palliative and end of life care for patients and carers, and they include:

  • to provide research-based evidence on end of life care provision - locally, nationally and internationally - through primary research studies and reviews;
  • to disseminate results in order to make a practical and academic impact;
  • to provide appropriate programmes of education and training, as well as consultancy services
  • to work in partnership with key organisations and individuals as a ‘community of effort’ for the global improvement of end of life care.

Our research focuses upon the following areas:

  • Clinical studies, particularly on the management of pain and other symptoms
  • Understanding the needs of family and carers and planning interventions to support them
  • Addressing the needs of older people including those with dementia and improving the provision of end of life care in residential and nursing homes
  • Public education and awareness of end of life issues
  • Research across the lifespan in chronic illness and end of life care, from childhood to old age.

Established in 2003, the International Observatory on End of Life Care is now a globally recognised centre of excellence for research in palliative and end of life care. Since the early days the range of work undertaken at the Observatory has expanded dramatically and the numbers of staff, students, honorary members and associates have increased commensurately.

Director: Professor Sheila Payne (s.a.payne@lancaster.ac.uk)

Changes at IOELC
Professor Sheila Payne and Dr Catherine Walshe

Dr. Catherine Walshe will become the Co-Director of the International Observatory on End of Life Care from 1st January 2014. She will be sharing the role with Professor Sheila Payne over the next 12 months. After her retirement, Sheila will be focusing on her research and international leadership role.

"This is an important opportunity, which I am really going to enjoy, and the role is very closely allied to my research interests" said Dr. Walshe, who is also Editor-in-Chief and long serving editorial team member of Palliative Medicine, the key international journal in this field.
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