Palliative Care For Manual Therapists Conference

Date: 18 May 2019
Conference lead: Shireen Ismail
Cost: £110 - £150



Why do you need to know about palliative care as a manual therapy practitioner? Palliative care is the active care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. There is robust evidence that involving multidisciplinary palliative care teams improves symptom control, satisfaction and psychological support for patients and families in community settings, hospices and hospitals 1-3. Patients who receive palliative care at an early point in the disease process tend to experience a better quality of life. Can hands-on therapies be part of this palliative care team?

Pain in older people is under-recognised and under-treated according to the authors of new guidance on the management of pain in older people published by the British Pain Society and the British Geriatrics Society. Control of pain is paramount in palliative and end of life care. Touch therapies are increasingly valuable in palliative care due to their pain-relieving effects accompanied with minimal risks and side-effects particularly in patients who cannot tolerate pharmaceutical intervention. However, to be part of a team you need to understand the role of every member of the team.

About the conference

This conference will introduce you to the key stakeholders in the multidisciplinary palliative care team. It will cover the care pathways set out in the UK for end of life care including the NICE guidelines. The conference will outline a path for manual therapy practitioners to embark on a career in palliative care. You will have the opportunity to engage with specialists in the management of pain in frail older adults.

The workshops that run after lunch will enable you to physically experience two of the hands-on therapies popular in end of life care. Case studies of palliative care scenarios in the community setting will enable you to take the first steps in engaging with this growing patient base.

The conference is open to everyone involved in manual therapy including osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, reflexologists, aromatherapists amongst many others. For more information about what to expect, watch a brief introduction from conference Chair, Shireen Ismail. (If player is not showing use this link to watch the video)

Summary of Osteopathic Practice Standards (updated) covered on this conference

  • A) Communication and patient partnership - A2
  • B) Knowledge, skills and performance - B1, B2
  • C) Safety and quality in practice - C1, C6

Conference schedule

09:00 Registration

09:30 Introduction by Shireen Ismail

09:50 Keynote speaker Claude Chidiac (LSBU, Sobell House) 

10:50 Break

11:10 Pathways and Challenges: from an osteopathic perspective, Christian Scharsach, (Osteopath and Senior lecturer, technique tutor and clinic tutor at BCOM)

11:55 Pain in older adults and those with dementia: Prof. Patricia Schofield,  (Professor of pain and ageing, University of Abertay)

12:40 Lunch

13:40-15:25 Workshops (45-min each session x 2) in Aromatherapy and Therapeutic Touch

- Therapeutic Touch: Annie Hallett

- Aromatherapy: Rhiannon Lewis

15:25-15:35 Break

15:35-16:20 Case studies of nursing in palliative care (including cancer) - Isatta Sisay, Deputy Head of Community Services at the Royal Trinity Hospice

16:20-17:00 Case studies of physiotherapy in palliative care (including cancer) - Paul Stone, Physiotherapist, Royal Trinity Hospice


Conference Speakers

Claude Chidiac

Claude Chidiac is a lecturer in Palliative Care at Saint Francis Hospice, and the founder and course director of Palliative and End of Life Care at London South Bank University. He has held a variety of clinical roles in acute, hospice, and community settings. His current work focuses on improving the palliative care provision for marginalised populations, with a specific emphasis on gender and sexual minorities. His PhD research explores the needs, preferences, and experiences of LGBT people with dementia, and their partners at the end of life. Claude has been involved in a number of consultations to support and provide expert advice to organisations about delivering affirmative care for LGBT people nationally, and internationally. Claude is undertaking a PhD in Palliative Care at Lancaster University. He has an MSc in Palliative Care Clinical Practice from University College Dublin, and a BSc in Nursing from the American University of Beirut. He completed a PgCert in Academic Practice in Higher Education at King’s College London, and subsequently became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Christian Scharsach

Christian’s first degree was in Physics, after which he worked for seven years in the field of fibre optic data communications and office wiring systems. He changed career path and qualified in 1995 with a BSc (Hons) in Osteopathic Medicine and Diploma in Naturopathy from the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy (now BCOM) in London. Christian is founder and principal osteopath and naturopath at his own practice in Berkhamsted. He sees patients of all ages and his practice includes a significant proportion of geriatric and paediatric cases. His osteopathic approach is a combination of structural and cranial treatment in addition to exercise prescription, ergonomic advice etc. Christian has been a faculty member at BCOM since 1999 as senior lecturer, technique tutor and clinic tutor. He leads the Biomechanics module and delivers the Spinal Mechanics component. He teaches osteopathic technique and osteopathic diagnosis to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years. He supervises the 3rd year cohort in clinic and is a 4th year MCC examiner. Since 2000 he has been a member of a 5-strong CPD study group of Hertfordshire osteopaths. He spent four years as a volunteer osteopath at the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, treating patients in the inpatient unit and outpatients. Patients were suffering life threatening illness at varying stages. Some were at end of life. Treatment was mainly palliative. He worked in a multi disciplinary team including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. 

Professor Patricia Schofield

Patricia Schofield is Professor of Pain & Ageing at Abertay University, Dundee. She is active in research leading a number of projects around pain, ageing and dementia. Recent research projects have included Designing and Developing Strategies for the Self-Management of Chronic Pain (EOPIC study), New technologies to support older people at home:maximising personal and social interaction and Pain Assessment in Patients with Impaired Cognition, especially Dementia. Patricia’s current project is funded by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) looking at the use of chatbot technology for self-management of chronic pain. She was recently awarded an honorary European Diploma in Pain Medicine for her contribution to education and she has been invited to lead the work for the European Year against pain in vulnerable populations and to be joint lead of the Global Years against pain in vulnerable populations. Patricia has published several books in the field and over 200 peer reviewed articles. Patricia is patron to the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Pensioner Forum.

Annie Hallett Msc BACP

Annie Hallett has a background in Nursing, Counselling, Education and Complementary Therapies including Healing. In 1993 she started one of the first Counselling and Complementary Therapy services within an NHS Cancer Unit in the UK, which is when she became interested in Healing and Therapeutic Touch.  She has studied various traditions of Healing, Shamanism and Reiki, but it is the interpretation of energy and Healing through Therapeutic Touch, which has had the most influence on her work. She has studied Therapeutic Touch with its founder Dolores Krieger, both in Australia and in the United States and with Jean Sayre Adams who first introduced it to the UK. 

In addition to Counselling and Complementary therapies her work in the NHS has included strategic roles along with bereavement support and the teaching of communication skills. She has been involved in the development of various Guidelines relating to counselling and complementary therapies nationally and has run numerous workshops across the UK. She is a registered member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CHNC) and serves in an advisory capacity on their Professions Specific Board for Healing.

She is the author of ‘A far reaching thing, tales of healing with therapeutic touch’.

Rhiannon Lewis

Rhiannon is the editor of the ‘International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy’ and director of ‘Essential Oil Resource Consultants’. Rhiannon has extensive experience in running workshops and speaking to large number of delegates. Rhiannon along with her team organised the recent ‘Botanica 2018 - A Celebration of Plant Therapeutics and Clinical Aromatherapy’ at the University of Brighton.

Isatta Sisay

Isatta is a registered general nurse in adult nursing and has worked in the NHS as an oncology nurse for over six years. She moved on into specialist palliative care nursing within the voluntary sector where she has worked within the last forteen years. She is currently Deputy Head of Community Services at the Royal Trinity Hospice where her role is Clinical, Educational, Operational and Leadership.

Paul Stone

Paul is a chartered physiotherapist, he currently working at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham Common; where he works in both the inpatient unit and with outpatients across a wide range of life-limiting conditions. He qualified as a physiotherapist with an MSc in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Brighton. He has worked in several NHS Trusts, in various specialised rotations, including the community, amputation rehabilitation and neurological rehabilitation. During this time, Paul developed a passion for working in palliative and has been at the Royal Trinity Hospice since 2018.


Suggested reading

  • Higginson, I.J and Evan, C.J. What is the evidence that palliative care teams improve outcomes for cancer patients and their families? Cancer J, 16, 423 – 435. (2010)
  • Zimmermann, C. et al. Effectiveness of specialised palliative care: systematic review. JAMA 299, 1698-1709. (2008)
  • Higginson, I.J. et al. Do hospital based palliative teams improve care for patients and their families at the end of life? J. Pain Symptom Manage. 23, 96-106 (2002)

Cancellation policy

The UCO regrets that no refunds can be made for cancelled places unless a substitute participant can be found. The UCO cannot guarantee that any course will run. In the event of your course being cancelled, all paid fees and deposits will be refunded in full.