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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 is a pandemic emergency and palliative care has an important role in symptom management and support. The clinical, clinical academic and academic teams at the Cicely Saunders Institute are providing care and support, as well as gathering evidence in these difficult times. We have been approached for requests for resources and so we have developed this page to provide links to key sources of information and evidence.

As COVID-19 is a new disease, evidence is evolving rapidly and we suggest you frequently refer to this page for updated information and further resources, which will be added to as developments are made.


Research priorities of people affected by serious illness during COVID-19


Experiences, concerns, and priorities for palliative care research during the COVID-19 pandemic : A rapid virtual stakeholder consultation with people affected by serious illness in England Johnson, H, Brighton, LJ, Clark, J, Roberts, H, Pocock, L, Ogden, M, Kumar, R, Gardiner, C, Higginson, IJ & Evans, C                

 We report the findings of a rapid virtual stakeholder consultation to understand the emerging experiences, concerns and research priorities of people affected by serious illness, in relation to palliative care, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Cicely Saunders Institute Research

The impact of and response to the COVID-19 pandemic on a hospital palliative care team Edmonds, PM, Sleeman, KE, Lovell, N, Chester, R,  Towers, RP, Marshall, SA,  Higginson, IJ, Bajwah, S, and Prentice, W


Palliative care for patients with severe covid-19 Ting R, Edmonds P, Higginson IJ, Sleeman K

This article outlines the palliative care approach to the management of patients with severe covid-19 in hospital and community settings, focusing on the management of distressing symptoms, planning ahead, communicating with patients and their families, and grief and bereavement.



Do the clinical management guidelines for Covid-19 in African Countries reflect the African quality palliative care standards? A rapid review.A team of African researchers have appraised the case management guidelines for COVID-19 against the African Palliative Care Association quality care standards Afolabi O, Abboah-Offei M, Namisango E, Chukwusa E, Oluyase A, Luyirika E, Harding R & Nkhoma K


A team of African researchers have appraised the case management guidelines for COVID-19 against the African Palliative Care Association quality care standards




  • Managing the supportive care needs of those affected by COVID-19 
    S. Bajwah, A. Wilcock, R. Towers, M. Costantini, C. Bausewein, S. T. Simon, E. Bendstrup, W. Prentice, M. J. Johnson, D. C. Currow, M. Kreuter, A. U. Wells, S. S. Birring, P. Edmonds, I. J. Higginson.
    We have published a guide for respiratory healthcare professionals working with Covid-19 patients on how to manage their supportive care needs.

Cicely Saunders Institute Resources 

  •  We have created a Managing breathlessness at home resource which: 

    • Is written for people with breathlessness and their families
    • May be especially helpful for those with chronic heart and lung conditions, whose clinical teams are being diverted to the COVID effort
    • Contains advice which is all based on the best available evidence and resources, but adapted to the COIVD context (shorted and tailored components)
    • Harmonises with national guidance, e.g. from Association of Palliative Medicine and NICE, and can support its implementation with patient-directed tips and instruction.
  • Recognising that COVID19 may be affecting the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups disproportionately, we have co-produced with the European Lung Foundation, information leaflets for patients, families/friends that have been translated into 23 different languages.

  • The palliative care workstream within the NIHR-funded ASSET programme has launched a free online training programme for health professionals, caregivers and family members. COVID-19 has reduced access to formal health services such as clinics. This course will teach basic palliative care skills so that the patient can be cared for in the community. Registration is now open until end of April 2021.

Ongoing Research Now Recruiting

We invite clinical representatives from hospice and palliative care services across the UK to contiribute to our survey aiming to understand more about how palliative care services and hospices are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow the link for further information.

External Resources 

  • EAPC: Coronavirus and the palliative care response
    The EAPC have provided a useful page of resources which will be updated regularly. This consists of information from affected countries and important sources, including a list of palliative care related guidelines and publications.  

  • Self-management of breathlessness guide
    Please see our guidance on self-management of breathlessness here, under the breathlessness support service toolkit. Please note, it is not advisable to use a fan currently due to the possibility of droplet spread.

  • Bereavement guidance fom Cruse
    Cruse Bereavement Care have produced some guidance on dealing with bereavement and grief in light of the current pandemic.


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