Key Resources for Palliative Care Nurses

This page contains links to useful guidance documents and web pages for palliative care nurses during the COVID-19 outbreak. The development of the resource was led by Julie Goss, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Dublin, in collaboration with AIIHPC, St James Hospital, Dublin and National University of Ireland, Galway. 

1.  General Covid-19 Key Information Ireland

2.  International Covid-19 Information

3.  Respiratory Education and Guidance

4.  Palliative Care Guidance to Support Generalist and Specialist Practice

5.  Palliative Medicines Information Service Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services

6.  Palliative Care Local Policies Area

7.  Telephone/ Video Consultations

8.  Communication Resources and Videos

9.  Advance Care Planning

10.  Carer Resources for end of Life care at home

11.  Bereavement

12.  Patient Specific Groups

13.  Disability Services

14.  Patient and Family Community Supports

15.  Children’s Palliative Care

16.  Information to help with wellbeing and self-care

17.  Social Media

18.  Learning from COVID-19

19.  References & Literature

  1. General Covid-19 Key Information – Ireland

HSE Hub Coronavirus Information for staff -  Broad Information with links to specific areas such as Occupational health issues, GDPR, staff training

Department of Health - Ethical Framework for Decision Making in a Pandemic

COVID-19 HSE Clinical Guidance and Evidence Repository  - site provides a repository of clinical guidance and latest research evidence to equip the clinical community in Ireland to respond to Covid-19.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland Information for nurses and midwives on scope of practice in emergency situations

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland Statement and Updates to Nurses and Midwives on COVID-19  

HSE - Health Service Executive:  COVID-19 health information and advice

Health Protection Surveillance Centre: COVID-19 advice and guidance including for healthcare workers

National Health Library and Knowledge Service – Covid-19 Evidence Sources:  Links to key updated information including point of care tool, summaries, articles

HSB Procurement (Health Business Services) - COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

          Irish Nurses & Midwifery Organisation(INMO) – COVID-19 guidance including PPE

Updated Guidance Note from Coroners Service and Coroners Society of Ireland in relation to Covid-19 related deaths

RapidInfo4U Healthcare Repository is an initiative aiming to implement an online rapid resource repository that provides individualised support for return to practice, reassigned and new to practice, nursing and allied health professionals during these COVID-19 pandemic times.  

HSE Guidance for care of the deceased person during the COVID-19 pandemic (Link)

2.    International Covid-19 Information

iHealthFacts - Health claims – Fact checked

Palliative Care in Partnership (Northern Ireland) - COVID-19 Information For Health & Social Care Professionals

COVID-19: Chief Nursing Officer News Updates for Nursing & Midwifery across Northern Ireland

Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) – COVID-19 Resources

European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) - Coronavirus and the palliative care response

Centre to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) COVID-19 Responses Resources (US)

Public Health England – COVID-19 resources (UK)

International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care - Resources relevant to Palliative Care and COVID-19

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) educational and induction resources for all health and social care staff deployed or redeployed to support services

  1. Respiratory Education and Guidance

NHS Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Respiratory Care and Assessment online course

British Thoracic Society - COVID-19: information for the respiratory community

Irish Thoracic Society COVID19 Information Links

 Health Protection Surveillance Centres (HPSC) Aerosol Generating Procedures

European Lung Foundation – Covid Hospital Factsheets for patients

Managing the supportive care needs of those affected by COVID, S.Bajwah et al, European Respiratory Journal Jan 2020, 2000815; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00815-2020

  1. Palliative Care Guidance to Support Generalist and Specialist Practice

Macmillan Cancer Support guidance for people with cancer, Macmillan supporters and our volunteers

Guidance on Control of COVID-19 in Specialist Palliative Care 4 In-patient Units – National Guidance Document

Irish Hospice Foundation – Care & Inform Hub – Resources for healthcare workers

Cicely Saunders Institute - Managing breathlessness at home during the COVID-19 outbreak  PDF

National Clinical Programme for Palliative Care, HSE

Additional document for carers and families:

The Palliative Hub – Professional (AIIHPC) – National Palliative Care Guidelines

NHS Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines

Irish Hospice Foundation End of Life Care Toolkit for Residential Care

Oxford Medicine Online – Field Manual of Palliative Care in Humanitarian Crisis - Care of the Dying Patient (Chapter)

Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland - COVID-19 and Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care in Secondary Care -Role of the specialty and guidance to aid care (22 April 2020)


ScotPalCovid - Use of T34 syringe pumps during Covid 19: Scot pal covid

  1. Palliative Medicines Information Service Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services

OLH Opioid Transdermal Patches Quick Reference Guide

OLH Opioid Conversion Chart

OLH Opioids—Changing Routes of Administration

OLH Oramorph for Breathlessness Patient Information Leaflet

  1. Palliative Care Local Policies Area

Last Days of Life  Nursing Care Plan  - Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services  (this may require customisation for individual / local services)

  1. Telephone/ Video Consultations

British Journal of Healthcare Management - A brief guide to telephone medical consultation

HSE: Virtual Health Hub – National COVID-19 Telehealth Steering Committee has approved the solutions contained within this webpage, made available during the pandemic, to support communication and collaboration across the health service

National Healthcare Communication Programme - Telephone Communications ‘Calgary-Cambridge Communication Guide’

British Journal of General Practice Ten Tips For Telephone Consultations About Covid-19

British Journal of General Practice Video Consultations: A Guide For Practice

mSurgery Open Online Course - Communication Skills for Telephone Consultations

  1. Communication Resources and Videos

National Health Care Communication Programme: Communication Guide for Difficult Conversations

Respecting Choices (US) - COVID 19 communication skills and ACP - video

Talk CPR- Doctors Speak about Sharing and Involving and challenges in our approach to DNACPR – Wales – Video

VitalTalk (US) – COVID-19 Ready Communication Skills

COVID-19 Conversation Topic - visual images to support effective communication

NHS Education for Scotland – Delivering the news of a death by telephone

Effective Communication for Healthcare (Scotland) - COVID-19: Effective communication for professionals - talking with people and families about planning care, death and dying including A4 Guide

How Hospitals, Hospices and Care facilities can use Skype to reduce loneliness during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

Irish Hospice Foundation Video: Delivering Bad News Covid 19 update

Irish Hospice Foundation - Supporting the patient with Covid at end of life

Real Talk:  Evidence based advice about difficult conversations 

mSurgery Open Online Course - Communication Skills for Telephone Consultations

mSurgery Open Online Courses – Video consultations

  1. Advance Care Planning

Irish Hospice Foundation Think Ahead:  Planning For Dying, Death, Loss And Care

Talk CPR- Doctors Speak about Sharing and Involving and challenges in our approach to DNACPR – Wales – Video

Dr Mark Taubert (Wales) How to start a conversation for health care providers – CPR and DNACPR Discussion - You tube

Dr GP and Palliative Care Doctor in the UK -  Coronavirus Worst Case Scenario Planning: How to have the conversation about the worst case – youtube

Irish Hospice Foundation: Advance Care Planning for Health and Social Care Professionals

  1. Carer Resources for end of Life care at home

Family Carers Ireland - offering family carers free counselling sessions. Family Carers Ireland offer help to family carers, as they believe no one should have to care alone. They have developed a free, short-term online and phone counselling service for family carers, and will connect carers with a qualified counsellor from a panel of approved professionals. The service can be accessed through the website or through the National Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24.

St Francis Hospice: Managing Anxiety at Home During Covid  Document

Family Carers Ireland - Emergency Care Plan

Caring for someone, nearing end of life, at home during the COVID-19 crisis – Irish Hospice Foundation

Hospice UK Caring for your dying relative at home with COVID-19  Webpage / Document

Helix Centre – End-of-life Care Toolkits for Carers at Home - Resources to assess and instruct for carers to administer subcutaneous injections at home (Wales)

TILDA (Ireland) - list of community supports to help those at home amidst the #Covid19 crisis

What you can do to practically care for someone who is in their last days and hours of life – Practical Guidance for the family –  HSE

  1. Bereavement

Irish Hospice Foundation, in conjunction with the HSE, has set up a new National Bereavement Support Line to provide connection, comfort and support to those grieving in these exceptional times. It is a freephone service and will be open from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, starting from today, Tuesday 9 June 2020.
The number to call is 1800 80 70 77. Please find more information here.

Guidance for Bereavement Support provided by Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers in Ireland, Oct 2019 with additional addendum on the ‘Impact of Covid-19’

Morris et al ( 2020) Caring for Bereaved Family members during the Covid 19 pandemic - before and after the death of a patient, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

A Guide for the Bereaved during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

COVID Care and Inform (Irish Hospice Foundation) - information resources and videos on the themes of Grief, Funerals in Exceptional Times, Planning Ahead and resources for Healthcare Professionals.

Cruse Bereavement Care: Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief

NHS Education for Scotland – Bereavement Video Wall for Professionals

HSE National Interim Guidelines for Funeral Directors on managing infection risks when handling deceased individuals with confirmed COVID-19

  1. Patient Specific Groups

HSE Patient information leaflet: Minding your long-term health condition during coronavirus (COVID-19)

HSE - Information on COVID-19 coronavirus for cancer patients and their families/carers

Alzheimer Society of Ireland - Covid-19 Update

A Selection of online resources for people with dementia, families and carers - Dementia Services and Information Development Centre

COVID-19 translated resources - Translated resources to help share the messaging about coronavirus (COVID-19) in various languages

Mount Sinai Health System COVID 19 YouTube channel

HSE COVID-19 web page for staff working in residential care settings

  1. Disability Services

COVID-19 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communications Resources - For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, communicating in a health setting such as a busy clinic or ward situation can be difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity for many healthcare staff to wear face masks have made communication even more difficult, especially for people who may rely on lip-reading. The Irish Deaf Society and Chime, in partnership with the HSE, have prepared resources for use by Healthcare workers and people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These can be found here and include guidelines for staff, communication supports and videos in Irish Sign Language. 

   HSE Approved Guidance See section HSE Approved Guidance for Disability Services’  These guidance documents have been developed by the HSE in collaboration with service providers in the voluntary sector. They have been approved by the HSE's Vulnerable Person's Group.

BILD Resources Page

BILD Webinar: Irene Tuffrey – Wijne  Growing older, Living well : Coping with illness , dying death , bereavement and learning disability during the Covid 19 outbreak

Beyond Words - When someone dies from coronavirus: a guide for families and carers

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities   COVID-19 Resources

The Psychological Society of Ireland - COVID-19 Resource

Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, Professor of Intellectual Disability and Palliative Care – Blog Coronavirus and people with intellectual disabilities

  1. Patient and Family Community Supports

St Francis Hospice: Managing Anxiety at Home During Covid  Document

Covid-19 Community Call – Department of Rural and Community Development:

ALONE Services for older people (include phone line and volunteer service (deliver groceries, prescriptions, fuel)

HSE – Restricted Movement and Self Isolation Guidance

You, Your Community and COVID-19 Information on Community Support - Department of Rural and CommunityDevelopment

TILDA - list of community supports to help those at home amidst the #Covid19 crisis

Citizens Information -

Mental Health Services details - HSE

How to protect against fraud and generate trust - Department of Rural and Community Development

Advice for Vulnerable People - Department of Rural and Community Development

Care Alliance Ireland Facebook online support group

What you can do to practically care for someone who is in their last days and hours of life – Practical Guidance for the family –  HSE

  1. Children’s Palliative Care

Association of Paediatric Palliative Medicine (APPM)– Clinical guidelines for children and young people with palliative care needs in all care settings during the coronavirus pandemic

PELiCaN Network Paediatric End of Life Care Network-  Guidance Documents

  1. Information to help with wellbeing and self-care 

Free online toolkit to help nurses with mental health. The Nursing Minds toolkit is a free, online tool designed by nurses for nurses through support from the Burdett Trust for Nursing. It highlights resources nurses can access before or during difficult times (Link)

Silver Cloud Health is providing free access to three self-directed online programmes. The mental health programmes that are available are:

(i)         dealing with stress

(ii)        building resilience

(iii)       and improving your sleep

Go to:  Once on the website, complete the sign-up process and enter the access code HSE2020 when prompted to do so.

National Gallery of Ireland – Mindfulness and Art (mindfulness online tours of the gallery)

The Sanctuary – free on-line mediations sessions via zoom 3 times weekly

Breathworks UK The Quiet Place: Calming mindfulness practices for stressed healthcare workers

Yoga for Uncertain Times – 34 videos

Open Change -COVID19 – Visual Guidance for front line healthcare & social service workers on Stress, Coping and Resilience (NHS Scotland)

Ten Percent Happier - Coronavirus Sanity Guide (FREE) for healthcare workers including access to meditation and podcasts

Covid-19 Stats | Ireland - Giver Back - Directory of free products / services available during COVID-19          

  1. Social Media

Hashtags to follow on Twitter #pallicovid   #palliatecoronavirus

  1. Learning from COVID-19

Managing the supportive care needs of those affected by COVID, S.Bajwah et al, European Respiratory Journal Jan 2020, 2000815; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00815-2020

Reinventing Palliative Care Delivery     

Lessons learnt from caring for patients with Covid-19 at the end of life

What palliative care can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic (editorial)

Lessons from the first wave (BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care blog)

Crossed communication wires: a Covid-19 ward experience (BMJ SPC blog)

Beyond the mask: a multidisciplinary reflection on palliating patients with Covid

Goals of care in a pandemic: our experience and recommendations

Online learning and teaching reflections – University of Hertfordshire

  1. References & Literature

The role and response of palliative care and hospice services in epidemics and pandemics: a rapid review to inform practice during the COVID-19 pandemic – Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Managing the supportive care needs of those affected by COVID-19 European Respiratory Journal

Palliative care and COVID - 19 Prof David Clarke University of Glasgow (FYI Prof Clarke has since retired - this post was written in March)

Palliative Care Needs of People Affected by Natural Hazards, Political or Ethnic Conflict, Epidemics of Life-Threatening Infections, and Other Humanitarian Crises

”Palliating a pandemic- All patients must be cared for” Downar, J, et al, (2010) Journal of pain and symptom management.

Palliative Care in the Time of COVID - the Ink Vessel -

The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence - The Lancet

The Importance of Addressing Advance Care Planning and Decisions About Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders During Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Covid-19: Decision making and palliative care (Swiss Medical Weekly)

Covid-19 pandemic: palliative care for elderly and frail patients at home and in residential and nursing homes (Swiss Medical Weekly)

Characteristics, symptom management and outcomes of 101 patients with COVID-19 referred for hospital palliative care - Journal Of Pain and Symptom Management 

Better End of Life 2021 Report – Dying, death and bereavement during Covid-19 Research Report (April 2021)The report shows how palliative and end of life care in the UK was compromised by shortages of PPE, essential medicines, and equipment, because these services were not seen as 'frontline NHS' in the pandemic.

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