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Leading nurse researcher joins board of Africa hospice charity

A leading palliative care researcher at Edge Hill University has been made a trustee of a charity involved in bringing hospice-style care to patients in Africa.

Professor Barbara Jack, director of the university’s Evidence-Based Practice Research Centre, has been appointed as a trustee of Hospice Africa UK, a specialist home care programme which cares for those with terminal illnesses.

She has been involved with Hospice Africa UK since 2005. It is a UK registered charity and was created in 1993 by Dr Anne Merriman, a pioneer of the international hospice movement.

Professor Jack said: “I am delighted to be invited to become a trustee of Hospice Africa and to play an increased role in supporting the work the Hospice is doing.”

She has worked on pioneering research to help the terminally ill in Africa, including developing clinical staff to conduct their own research to address the shortage of academic palliative care researchers on the continent.

“Having had the first-hand experience of working with the team in Uganda and seeing the challenges they face and what they can achieve will be invaluable to my role as trustee,” she said.

Professor Jack added: “Through my clinical background as a registered nurse, I had a lot of contact with terminally ill patients in a hospital setting. Palliative care as a specialism was still in its infancy, but I could see its value from my own experiences and it sparked an interest in the development of end of life care.

“Everyone should have the right to die with dignity and without pain, and it is this notion of a ‘good death’ that has influenced the direction of my research in the UK and Africa.”

Ann Vassie, chair of Hospice Africa UK, said: “Barbara has always been a great source of support to us and we know that she will add great value to our work as we endeavour to spread the practice of good palliative care across sub-Saharan Africa.

“We welcome her onto our board of trustees and are excited at the work we can do together to bring pain relief to all who suffer in Africa.”

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