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Marie Curie awards £1.5m to palliative and end of life care research

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Marie Curie Cancer Care has announced the first awards from its two palliative and end of life care research programmes - the Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Programme and the joint Dimbleby Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund.

The Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Programme, administered by Cancer Research UK, has awarded more than £1 million of funding to six palliative care research projects which aim to improve end of life care for people with cancer and/or other life-limiting conditions.

The Dimbleby Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund in partnership with Dimbleby Cancer Care has awarded £440,000 to three projects. The projects all focus on research into the role of volunteers in improving end of life care experiences for patients and their families.

Subject to ethical approval, the following nine research projects have been funded:

Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Programme

(Grant Recipient, Organisation. Project Title)

  • Professor Sheila Payne, International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University. Unpacking the home: family and carer’s reflections on dying at home.
  • Mr Andrew Dickman, Pharmacy Department, University of Liverpool. Chemical compatibility of drugs administered by continuous subcutaneous infusion for end of life care.
  • Professor Jane Seymour, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy, University of Nottingham. Understanding the role of nurses in decisions to use anticipatory prescriptions to manage symptoms and distress in the last days of life: a prospective community based case study using mixed methods.
  • Dr Debra Howell, Epidemiology and Genetics Unit, University of York. Exploration of factors associated with place of care and death in patients with haematological malignancies.
  • Dr Maureen Coombs and Professor Alison Richardson, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group, University of Southampton. An investigation about transferring patients in critical care home to die: experiences, attitudes, population characteristics and practice.
  • Dr Catherine Evans, Department of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation, King’s College London. Mental capacity and processes of informed consent for research on end of life care.

Dimbleby Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund

(Grant Recipient, Organisation. Project Title)

  • Mr Nick Ockenden, Institute for Volunteering Research. Volunteer Management in Palliative Care: Meeting the specific challenges of involving volunteers in palliative care roles which require direct contact with patients or their families.
  • Ms Bridget Candy, Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Unit, University College London. How Volunteers May Improve End of Life Care: an evidence synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research and survey of current practice.
  • Professor John Ellershaw, Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool, University of Liverpool. A Living Community Presence: an innovative approach for volunteers to support the care of patients and their families in the last hours and days of life.

To hear more about the research projects, view the videos of some of the grant recipients.

Dr Teresa Tate, Medical Advisor to Marie Curie Cancer Care, said: “These are Marie Curie’s first grant awards for palliative and end of life care research. Both programmes aim to address a funding and knowledge gap in this area of research and provide the evidence to inform better end of life care for patients, carers and families.”

Jonathan Dimbleby, Chair of the Dimbleby Cancer Care Research Fund, said: “The two charities have many aims in common, so this sharing of resources makes perfect sense and provides an opportunity to support much-needed research to improve the vital - though relatively neglected - area of end-of-life care.”

Marie Curie launched the £3 million Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Programme in 2010, committing up to £1 million of research funding per year for three years.

The Dimbleby Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund was established in 2010. Both charities share the aim of improving research into end of life issues and joined forces by pooling some of their financial and administrative resources to address the serious knowledge gap in this area. In March 2011 the Fund announced a second call for research applicants exploring support for carers looking after people at the end of life. The deadline for submission of proposals is October 7 2011.

For more information: Dimbleby Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund or contact Georgie Grindlay at Dimbleby Cancer Care: or 020 7188 7889.

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