You're viewing our new website - find out more


Almost £1.5m for palliative care research

Published: 28 Oct 2015 00:01
Part of:

Scottish Government supports charities’ investment.

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Shona Robison has announced a major investment in palliative care research.

The Scottish Government's Chief Scientist Office is supporting Marie Curie in its largest ever research call in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND Association), totalling £1,425,000.

In addition to the £1 million funding pot from Marie Curie, the CSO will contribute £225,000 of funding and MND Association will contribute up to £200,000.

All proposals must address key research priorities identified by carers, health and social care professionals, and people with terminal illnesses.

Shona Robison said:

"I'm delighted to announce this new collaboration with Marie Curie and the MND Association, which will see almost one and a half million pounds made available to fund research into palliative care – nearly half a million of which must be spent in Scotland.

"This is part of our ongoing efforts to make sure high-quality palliative care is available across all settings.

"Palliative care is an extremely sensitive area of healthcare, and also a tremendously important one. The outputs from this research will have the potential to improve care for people in their final days and hours, and to treat relatives with compassion and understanding.

"Charities play a vital part in supporting medical research – often led and supported by people who have seen the impact of a disease on a close friend or relative. Our role as the government is to support them as much as we can.

"We have already committed to a new Strategic Framework for Action. Our plans include the development of a national approach to enhanced measurement and monitoring – we have already included a key indicator on end of life care as part of the requirements to measure the impact of health and social care integration. Our future work will also include work to support local use of VOICES survey questions to support improvement, which can then be aggregated nationally.

"The Scottish Government is committed to working with a range of organisations, including Marie Curie, to make this happen more consistently across Scotland."

Professor Bill Noble, Medical Director at Marie Curie said:

"Palliative and end of life care research is woefully underfunded, which is why this £1,425,000 funding pot, with at least £450,000 for researchers in Scotland, is so important.

"The research it funds will address some of the most important concerns of carers, health and social care professionals, and people with terminal illnesses.

"This could include studies on how palliative care services could serve Scotland better, helping the sector ensure that everyone who needs palliative care gets it, including nearly 11,000 Scots who currently miss out."

Notes to editors

Funds from the CSO will be matched by Marie Curie (total fund of up to £450,000) and applications must be led by a principal investigator who is based in Scotland. Applicants to this fund must submit proposals that address research priorities identified in the Palliative and end of life care Priority Setting Partnership (PeolcPSP), which asked carers, health and social care professionals, and people with terminal illnesses what the unanswered questions in palliative and end of life care are.

Funds from MND Association will be matched by Marie Curie and to be eligible for this part of the fund (total fund of up to £400,000) proposals must show relevance to people living with MND and draw on the associated priorities from the PeolcPSP.

The remaining £575,000 of the fund, provided by Marie Curie, will be awarded to proposals that focus on any one, or combination of, the 83 priorities identified by the PeolcPSP.

Applications are welcome from scientists, clinicians or healthcare workers in UK universities, medical schools, hospitals and some research institutions.

The deadline for submitting outline applications is 14 January 2016 and the application form and guidance for applicants can be found on the Marie Curie website . Following initial peer review, full applications will be invited in April 2016. Funding decisions with committee feedback will be available in autumn 2016.

Palliative and end of life care Priority Setting Partnership

The Palliative and end of life care Priority Setting Partnership with the James Lind Alliance was initiated by Marie Curie in 2013 and sought to identify the research priorities that are most important to the end users of research – patients, carers and health care professionals. It was a joint project co-funded by ten organisations, including the Chief Scientist Office and the MND Association.

The PeolcPSP received responses from 1,403 people through an online survey. The data was then analysed to identify interventional questions. These questions were combined and checked against existing systematic reviews and guidelines to determine whether they were already sufficiently answered. This created a longlist of 83 unanswered questions which were prioritised in a second survey and further in a workshop including patients, carers and health care professionals. The results of this survey were published and the final report launched at the Palliative and end of life care Research Summit on 15th January 2015.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie is the UK's leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance.

Marie Curie employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, and with its nine hospices around the UK, is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

For more information visit

Marie Curie Support Line 0800 090 2309