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About us

About us

The Cicely Saunders Institute is the first purpose built institute for research into palliative care. We offer palliative care courses and other resources relevant to palliative care. 

Palliative care is the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Palliative care provides an extra level of support for patients and their families whatever their diagnosis.  The goal is the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, and includes control of pain and other symptoms, as well as attention to psychological, social and spiritual problems.

The Institute brings together academics, healthcare professionals, community organisations, patients and carers in one centre and acts as the hub for a network of international research. It offers high quality palliative care solutions to patients, as well as providing education, patient information and support.

Away day 2014


 The Cicely Saunders Institute team

The Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care opened in May 2010, the result of a partnership between the King’s College London and the charity Cicely Saunders International.

The Institute is home to a number of distinct groupings, both clinical and academic:

  • Division of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation of King’s College London.
  • Clinical palliative care team of King’s College Hospital NHS Trust.
  • Healthcare professionals from King’s Health Partners, the UK’s leading Academic Health Sciences Centre, which brings together clinical practice and research from King’s College London and three NHS trusts (King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and South London and Maudsley).
  • Macmillan patient support and information centre.
The academic component of the Institute is King’s Department of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation. The Department benefits from a unique collaboration of palliative care and rehabilitation teams and is a multiprofessional department comprising four professors and over 80 research, education and support staff and consultants. Staff members have diverse academic backgrounds, including medicine, health services research, health economics, statistics, epidemiology, nursing, psychology, professions allied to medicine.

The purpose-built Institute provides expanded capacity to:

  • offer new palliative care courses and train doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in best practice in end of life care,
  • benefit from new research facilities to discover better ways to care for patients at home, support caregivers and prevent and control symptoms,
  • benefit from increased opportunities for cross-disciplinary research on support and treatments for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, end-stage renal disease, heart failure, COPD and cancer.
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