One of the exciting developments for Cairdeas is the continuing partnership with Pallium India. As you can see from their website http://www.palliumindia.org/, Pallium India is committed to supporting the development of palliative care in a number of ways. Their activities include supporting clinical services, providing education and offering advocacy for access to morphine. We have worked together for 2 years now mainly supporting education and training, although relationships go back nearly 10 years since I first met the founder of Pallium India and now my good friend Prof Rajagopal.. We are also discussing plans to develop mentorship for new centres.
Our most recent collaboration was back in February when I was privileged to help co'ordinate and deliver a Refresher Course for experienced palliative care clinicians in Trivandrum, Kerala. Together with Raelee Jenson, an experienced nurse trainer from New Zealand who works with Pallium, and Dr Baburaj we put together an innovative programme for the 3 days supported by an amazing international Faculty and enthusiastic delegates. We welcomed Faculty from the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia (see Lalitha in the photo) as well as India ; all there at the invitation of Prof Rajagopal. Using case based scenarios we explored many areas of relevance to palliative care such as collusion, difficult symptoms, rehabilitation, hope and looking after ourselves. Team exercises led by Gary from Severn Hospice were great fun - why do you think were we pretending to be sheep? For all who attended it was an opportunity to learn together, share more deeply the challenges of working in palliative and be genuinely refreshed and supported. Time on the beach at the end was a real treat for some Faculty - here is Deirdre and Robert Twycross and Bill Grech with yours truly.
Cairdeas was able to offer 4 scholarships to colleagues who would not otherwise have been able to come from Hyderabad, Mizoram and Lucknow; here are some comments from Dr Evelyn, Hyderabad. (pictured with Jeremy and Penny Johnson from Severn Hospice)
'The Refresher Course brought together many renowned people from all over the world including Dr Robert Twycross and Prof Rajagopal under one roof! There was so much to be gained by just being present in the midst of so much experience and the remarkable faculty to student ratio. I learned many things....many issues and principles of Palliative Care are the same; no matter what country you belong to. Suffering and death are great equalisers. Sharing ideas and exchanging contacts with many people with the same interests are even now, a great source of encouragement. Putting my own work into perspective I realise there is still much to be done. I realised too that I need to look after myself. The course was a blessing and great encouragement to me and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for the scholarship assistance provided to me'
To finish this post, a quotation from the ancient Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa that appeared in a recent Pallium India newsletter; 'We have watered the tress that blossom in the summer-time. Now let's sprinkle those whose flowering time is past. That will be the better deed, because we shall not be working for the reward.'