Regional Collaboration


As an excellent resource for easy-to-access information, the WMPCP Palliative Care Guidelines for the use of drugs in symptom control (WMPCG) have been my go-to sources since I started training and working in palliative care. Having benefited so much from the guidelines during my own clinical work and knowing how useful my colleagues providing generalist palliative care in hospitals and community settings found it, I felt it was important to contribute to the continuation and development of the PCG. And so, I’ve been really pleased to have taken on the mantle of guidelines lead for the West Midlands Palliative Care Physicians Society (WMPCPS) following on from Dr Christina Radcliffe, who kicked off the guideline review for this latest updated version.

I have professionally known and worked with many of the clinicians who have been instrumental in writing and reviewing the guidelines over the years, including the latest 2023 version. (See a full list of acknowledgements here). Their enthusiasm and passion for delivering the best palliative care possible has meant that they’ve given much of their own time and energy to undertake the review, for which I am extremely grateful. This year we have updated content, available medication formulations and improved the format and flow of the guidance. Overseeing the update in the past year gives me the confidence that our Guidelines continue to be clinically relevant and has undergone a robust process of review to ensure its accuracy, not least in a large part due to the ongoing pharmacy expertise provided by Michelle Aslett.

We are pleased to be able to launch our revised version in the same month as Hospice UK’s  Dying Matters Awareness Week, after all good symptom control is such an important aspect of the experience of dying from the perspectives of both the person and their loved ones.  By raising the profile of the Guidelines, we aim to empower as many clinicians as possible through this accessible information to provide high quality generalist palliative care in any setting whenever needed. This includes colleagues caring for people with palliative and end of life care needs in areas such as emergency medicine, cardiology, respiratory nephrology and hepatology, general practice and care of the elderly, as well as medical students across the region.

This updated version continues to be freely available online (West Midlands Palliative Care Guidelines) wherever you are in the world and, as ever in the much-loved pocket-sized paperback available to buy at booksyouneed (Guidelines for the use of drugs in symptom control).

We hope that you continue to find the Guidelines useful and signpost colleagues to them. If you have any feedback, please do get in touch and let us know via our contact page.

Author: Dr Nadia Khan, WMPCP Guideline lead, Palliative Medicine Consultant Birmingham Hospice

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