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Global Health

About us

Dame Cicely Saunders gave the world a vision of palliative care for all. However, palliative care is not currently reaching all those who need it. The gap is greatest for those who live in low and middle income countries, where people are ageing in greater numbers than ever before. As result, the challenges of non-communicable disease are increasing across the globe, while the roll-out of antiretroviral therapy brings an evolving profile of palliative care need among people living with HIV. Research and provision of palliative care for children remains low in comparison to adults. The need for palliative care is projected to increase globally, and in recent years global health policies have laid expectations for governments and health systems to respond to unmet palliative care need.

The Centre for Global Health Palliative Care is based at Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation. It is a multidisciplinary centre for global health research, education, and capacity building in palliative care. Since 2008, we have been a WHO Collaborating Centre for Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation. Find out more about our WHO studies and reports.

The Centre for Global Health Palliative Care supports the Mission of the Cicely Saunders Institute i.e. Cutting edge research, Skilled multiprofessional care, and Innovation in education. Our goal is to ensure that this mission is global in its reach. We also support the King’s College London strategy, specifically ensuring that world-class research is conducted while developing global leaders and delivering research-led education.

The Centre is directed by Professor Richard Harding. We currently have a large global health programme in partnerships with clinical and academic sites across the globe. Our approach is that we have the scientific expertise to work with our partners to assist in finding answers together. To support delivery on the KCL 2029 Strategic Vision, our education ( MSc and PhD  palliative care) and primary research are informing partnerships that shape and transform palliative care provision around the world. We also support the King’s Global Health Institute of ensuring that health services are “ fit for purpose” through our palliative care research programme.

Our aims are:

  • To build meaningful partnerships and provide academic mentorship for co-production of high quality evidence that addresses local priorities and challenges,
  • To disseminate robust evidence to advocate for better policies and practices,
  • To drive up access and quality in palliative care,
  • To build palliative care research capacity with our partner organisations.
  • To train future leaders in palliative care from around the world,

Research focus:

  • Person-centred outcome measurement in palliative care
  • Paediatric palliative care
  • Health systems strengthening
  • Development and testing of feasible acceptable complex interventions
  • Palliative care in under-represented groups e.g., key populations, TB and heart failure
  • Health in conflict
  • Digital health
  • Palliative care in non-communicable diseases

We achieve this through our partnership values. As an academic group we do not have the answer to all the global challenges in palliative care, but we do have the scientific skills to work in partnerships to discover and implement those answers.

Within these pages you will see examples of how capacity building is at the heart of our activities. You will see evidence of how this makes a tangible difference - MSc and PhD students who have been able to take up careers in research and service development, teams undertaking local research and seeing this through to publication, and evidence transforming local practice. Our partnerships are ongoing, responsive to local learning needs, and inclusive in terms of conduct and outputs.

Spotlight on global health ( download here)


Key partners

We work closely with the following organisations:

  • Cicely Saunders International
  • World Health Organisation (WHO): Since 2008, we have been a WHO Collaborating Centre for Palliative Care and Older People. Find out more about our WHO studies and reports.
  • Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (South Africa)
  • University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • King Hussein Cancer Centre, Amman (Jordan)
  • Centre for Palliative Cancer Care in Conflict (Jordan)
  • Al Bashir Hospital (Jordan)
  • Hacettepe University Oncology Hospital (Turkey)
  • African Palliative Care Associatio, (Uganda)
  • Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (Kenya)
  • Hospice Africa Uganda (Uganda)
  • Island Hospice & Healthcare, Harare (Zimbabwe)
  • Ibadan University (Nigeria)
  • University of California San Francisco (USA)
  • Ho Chi Minh Medical School (Vietnam)
  • International Children’s Palliative Care Network (South Africa)
  • Makerere University (Uganda)
  • PLuS Alliance(Phoenix / London / Sydney)
  • Kasturba Hospital, Manipal (India)


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