More support for end-of-life care

Health news

The University of Leeds together with St. Gemma's Hospice has appointed a new chair in Palliative Medicine.

Professor Michael Bennett took up the post of St. Gemma's Professor of Palliative Medicine on 27 June.

Professor Bennett will be heading up a new Academic Unit of Palliative Care at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, a teaching and research institute within the University's School of Medicine. He will be leading research to develop and test innovative treatments that aimed at improving the care of patients who have an incurable illness.

It is hoped that this work could allow more patients to stay at home for longer, reduce the severity of patients' symptoms, reduce patients' and their families' fears and anxieties, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Professor Bennett will also work as a Consultant at St Gemma's Hospice for two days a week, where he will be involved in the direct care of patients and clinical staff training.

Professor David Cottrell, Dean of the School of Medicine, said: "The University has always enjoyed excellent links with St Gemma's in terms of teaching opportunities. Many of our medical students have undoubtedly benefitted from placements at the hospice, giving them an important insight into end-of-life care. I am now delighted that we have the opportunity to work even more closely with St Gemmas to find out how palliative medicine could be improved."

Professor Allan House, Director of the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, said: "Very little research into palliative medicine takes place in the UK at the moment, so this partnership is a real step forward.  I am confident that, under the leadership of Professor Bennett, our researchers will be able to undertake truly pioneering work that will bring benefits to patients not just at St Gemma's but also across the UK and internationally."

Dr Mike Stockton, Director of Medicine and Consultant in Palliative Care at St Gemma's Hospice, said: "Caring for patients and their families is our top priority. However, advancements in medical and other healthcare interventions are the key to making significant improvements in patient treatment. This can only be achieved by undertaking high calibre research in the field of palliative and end of life care."

St Gemma's Hospice will be funding the costs of the new research unit for the first five years.

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