Research that benefits everyone

Our aim is to improve palliative and end of life care for everyone. One important way of doing this is through research. Our team of doctors, nurses and therapists regularly contribute to research, networks and initiatives to improve care for the dying. They also share their knowledge at conferences and publish their research. Today they are recognised at home and abroad as experts in the field of end of life care.

Princess Alice is a research active organisation and we welcome researchers who wish to undertake research at the hospice.

 

Our Research Team

Dr Jennifer Todd

Jennifer works as a palliative medicine consultant at Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust and Princess Alice Hospice. She is the medical lead for research at the Hospice and chairs the quarterly Research Committee meetings. Her main interest is in quantitative research. She has been the principal investigator for a number of research projects at the Hospice (PiPS 1, Effentora Phase 111b /1V study, Abstral registry) and has also supported a number of in-house projects and MSc students undertaking research modules.

Dr Liz Reed, Research Lead

Liz is responsible for our organisational research strategy and oversees the development and management of internal research projects. Before going into research, Liz was a palliative care clinical nurse specialist in a variety of settings (hospital, hospice and community). She was awarded her PhD in 2012 for her research into the experience of women living with metastatic breast cancer. Liz has extensive experience in qualitative research methods, narrative interviewing, semi-structured interviewing and focus group facilitation, as well as some experience in quantitative research methods.

Princess Alice Hospice Research Newsletter

Conference presentations

2017

UTI antibiotic stewardship in a UK Hospice: two audit cycles spanning two years and more than 500 patients

View research poster

What Level of Medical Input Do Hospice Inpatients Need and Does This Correspond to their Need for Specialist Nursing Input? A Service Evaluation in a UK Hospice

View research poster

Use of Diagnostic Ultrasound in a Hospice at Home team : a Service Evaluation

View research poster

The Bereavement Journey : Making the Right Connections

View research poster

ManShed Extending the Reach and Engaging the Community

View research poster

To feed or not to feed

View research poster

Group exercise with individualised goals and physical and psychosocial wellbeing in palliative care

View research poster

Improving access to community equipment to support preferred place of care and death

View research poster

Developing a new Talent and People Strategy

View research poster

Should hospices further utilise information specialists to support the digital literacy of staff and volunteers

View research poster

2016

A proposal for hospices to work together on information and knowledge support
View research poster

An innovative model of care enabling a hospice IPU to reach more people
View research poster

Anxiety management in practice: a multi-disciplinary approach to support hospice patients to manage their anxiety
View research poster

Continued, successful use of ultrasound in a hospice
View research poster

Developing a resilient workforce
View research poster

Evaluation of aroma sticks for anxiety as an extension of aromatherapy treatment
An evaluation to explore the impact of aroma stick use on hospice patients’ anxiety.
View research poster

Seventeen and super keen. Young people volunteering on an inpatient unit.
View research poster

Developing a research strategy
View research poster

Analysis of hospice to hospital transfers
View research poster

A multi-professional educational intervention to improve and sustain participants’ confidence to deliver palliative care: a mixed-methods study.
View research poster

2015

The experience of family caregivers living with patients with the symptoms of advanced cancer
This phenomenological study used purpose sampling to determine the experiences of family caregivers. The results allow the hospice to further understand how we can offer the necessary support to caregivers.

View research poster

Living with Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Our study presents the experience of adults with Xerostomia within a community/day hospice care setting and puts forward coping strategies to help, guide and improve practice.

View research poster

Enhancing a sense of community
Exploring the development and benefits of our hospice based Community Choir.

View research poster

National UK food and nutrition hospice survey
A study aimed at identifying issues relating to food and nutrition in hospices in the UK.

View research poster

Open Art Studio
A look at the implications of introducing an open art studio into a hospice environment.

View research poster

Journal publications

2018

Reed, E. Todd, J. Lawton, S. Grant, R, Sadler, C. Berg, J. Lucas, C. Watson, M. Palliative Medicine 2018, Vol. 32(2) 571–580

A multi-professional educational intervention to improve and sustain respondents’ confidence to deliver palliative care: a mixed-methods study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28604265

2017

Gillett, K. Reed, L. Bryan, L. (2017) Using action learning sets to support change in end-of-life care. Leadership in Health Services. Volume 30, issue 2

This paper describes the delivery of facilitated action learning sets as an integral component of a multidisciplinary end-of-life care course and the challenges, learning, and benefits of using action learning sets to improve end-of-life care. Hospices and other health care organisations work in partnership to deliver this programme and this paper demonstrates how action learning sets can increase mutual understanding and communication between specialist and non-specialist end-of-life care settings: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/LHS-10-2016-0055

2016

Shine, M. Advanced Care Planning: the HCA’s role. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants. August 2016 Vol 10 No 08

Healthcare Assistants are often providing the day to day care of patients and can pay a key role in supporting patients at the end of life. In this paper, Martin Shine an HCA at Princess Alice Hospice discusses the important role of the HCA in advance care planning and the importance of providing adequate education and support to HCA’s so they have the confidence and communication skills to facilitate these discussions: https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/bjha.2016.10.8.374

Reed, E. Todd, J. Developing a research strategy in a hospice in England. European Journal of Palliative Care, 2016; 23(2)

In 2013, Princess Alice Hospice recruited a research lead to develop research across the organisation. A research strategy was developed using a collaborative approach in order to encourage hospice staff from as many different disciplines as possible to engage with research. This paper describes the process of developing a research strategy and promoting engagement with research internally and the hospice to be a research active organization: Click here to download

2015

Spencer, L. Hospice to home: a patient-centric multi professional community approach.

As people live longer with multidimensional health and end-of-life care needs, palliative care provision is becoming increasingly complex. Demands on hospice services are increasing, therefore new models of care are needed that are accessible to a wider range of patients. This article describes how one hospice developed a model of care working in partnership with statutory services that provided patient-centred care, achieved preferences and prevented unnecessary admissions into hospital. The evaluation of the model suggests that maximal impact can be gained by focusing service development on expanding and improving care at home. Preventing unnecessary hospital admissions, while simultaneously improving the quality of care, remains the fundamental driver for high-quality end-of-life care: International Journal of Palliative Nursing. 2015 May;21(5):245-50.

2014

Reed E, Cullen A, Gannon C, Knight A, Todd J. Use of Schwartz Centre Rounds in a UK hospice: findings from a longitudinal evaluation. J Interprof Care. 2014 Nov 25:1-2Schwartz Centre Rounds® aim to explore the human and emotional impact of everyday work by giving healthcare staff the opportunity to come together in a safe but open environment. We evaluated the experience of introducing Schwartz Centre Rounds in Princess Alice Hospice over one year using a mixed method approach:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25421453

Current external research collaborations

The prognosis in palliative care study II (PiPS2)

Professor Paddy Stone, Marie Curie palliative care research department, University College London

Previous studies have attempted to improve upon or replace clinician estimates of survival. However, these attempts were not completely accurate. The Prognosis in Palliative care Scales (PiPS) were developed in order to provide an objective aid to clinicians’ intuition. The PiPS scores are designed to categorise patients into three prognostic groups: those with survival of “days”, “weeks” or “months”. Before recommending PiPS for routine use, it is important to check that the scores are accurate and reliable. The aim of our study is to check that PiPS is accurate on a large number of patients across the UK and to compare its accuracy against clinicians’ survival estimates.

LEGACY: The breakthrough LEGACY study for secondary breast cancer

Peter Barry, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Studying the tissues and organs of patients who have recently died of breast cancer could revolutionise our understanding and inform effective new treatments. Treatment of breast cancer has traditionally been based on the primary tumour in the breast. Little research to date has focused on the process of the spread of disease to other sites. The aim of this study is to comprehensively and systematically examine advanced breast cancer tissue of women who have recently died.

HIDDen (hospice inpatient deep vein thrombosis detection study)

Professor Miriam Johnson, Professor of Palliative Medicine, Centre for Health and Population Sciences, Hull, York Medical School.

The primary aim of this study is to establish the prevalence of proximal lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its associated symptoms in a population of consecutive patients with cancer admitted to specialist palliative care units (SPCUs). The secondary aims are to establish the incidence of proximal lower limb DVT during SPCU admission in people with cancer and other conditions, the associated symptoms, the effect of thromboprophylaxis on the development of proximal lower limb DVTs, and the clinical utility of a commonly used clinical risk score for DVT (Well’s score) in this population.

OPEL: Optimum ‘Hospice at Home’ services for End of Life Care.

Professor Claire Butler, University of Kent

The aim of this national study is to investigate the impact of the organisation and delivery of different models of Hospice at Home services on patient and carer outcomes and experiences of end of life care.

Current internal research

What services influence the care of people with dementia in the last year of life?

A retrospective exploratory study using a mixed methods approach – review of medical notes of decedent patients and interviews with their bereaved relatives – to understand more about the everyday life of people with dementia in their last year of life and consider the role of specialist palliative care. This study is in partnership with Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust and Kingston Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Can a palliative care education intervention improve and sustain participants’ confidence and professional development in palliative care?

Jennifer Todd, Consultant in Palliative medicine and Liz Reed, Research Lead, Princess Alice Hospice.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of the ECEPC on candidates’ confidence in palliative care, determine if this is sustained over time and establish if learning from the course influences professional growth and translation of learning and experience to patient care.

Join Dementia Research

Join Dementia Research (JDR) is a nationwide service that helps anyone in the UK find and take part in vital dementia research studies. People with dementia, their carers, and anyone interested in research can sign up. It’s also possible to register on behalf of someone else.

Why is it needed?

It is only through research that we can develop effective treatments, improve care and one day find a cure. If you are looking for studies to take part in, but don’t know where to find them, please visit www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk

User involvement

All hospice generated research studies will have meaningful user involvement as part of the project steering group. We would also expect those wishing to undertake research with us to have considered user involvement as a part of their project.

How to apply to do research with us

We welcome research collaborations and partnerships with external researchers to undertake well designed and appropriate research.

All potential research projects will be considered by the hospice research committee which meets quarterly. The next meeting dates are:

  • June 13th 2018
  • September 12th 2018
  • December 12th 2018

Please fill in the research application form and ensure all applications are submitted to the Hospice’s Liz Reed, the Hospice’s research lead, at least two weeks before the research committee meetings. You will be informed of the research committee’s decision within two weeks of the meeting.