Saunders Institute’s mission is to pioneer the very best in palliative care and
rehabilitation by integrating:
- Cutting-edge research - committed to
building new knowledge and discovering new treatments through world-leading
ethical and robust clinical, applied and health services research
- Skilled multi-professional care -
delivering top-quality evidence-based clinical care and support to patients and
carers, for life and living, and death and dying
- Innovation in engagement and education
- to embed change in policy and practice nationally and internationally, engage
with patients and public, and inspire tomorrow's leaders in the field from
around the world.
We seek to
enable high quality ethical research to be conducted and quickly fed into care,
practice and policy - improving palliative care and enabling people to live
better, with dignity and the least possible suffering.
strategy fits into the King’s Health Partners' goal of being an AHSC that
promotes patient and family-centred care, as our entire programme of work is
underpinned by delivery of evidence-based care in line with the WHO definitions
of palliative care and rehabilitation.
is focussed in four main strands:
- Evaluating and improving care – with
studies to develop and test existing and new interventions and treatments, such
as short term palliative care, or care for conditions beyond cancer, in
neurological, renal, heart or liver failure. This research will determine the
most effective and cost-effective services, identify when people miss out on
the best in care, feeding into government policy and funding.
- Focussed clinical research on symptoms.
We are investigating more effective ways to prevent and treat
difficult-to-control and poorly understood symptoms such as breathlessness,
fatigue, depression and pain, and undertake clinical trials to evaluate new
treatments, including trials to test complex support services in
breathlessness, management of pain using opioids, treatments in spasticity.
- Outcome and assessment measures, with
a focus on developing and refining short patient and family reported measures
that can be used in clinical practice as well as research to provide more
humane, dignified and cost-effective measures. This research will help the
understanding of the complexity of palliative care and rehabilitation, how to
assess need, and help to set standards of care for all patients with cancer and
other progressive illnesses, and for their families and carers.
- Living and dying in society, to future
proof the delivery of palliative care and rehabilitation, by focussing on the
populations of tomorrow, the very elderly, informal caregivers, evolving
preferences, cultural needs. We focus on currently neglected groups, including
older people, black and minority ethnic communities, people in socially
excluded groups and in economically deprived contexts. We work with ethicists
and social scientists to examine spiritual and ethical issues.
these strands we conduct methodological development, to refine the methods of
research in palliative care and rehabilitation to improve rigour, ethical
standards and ways to capture the most profoundly ill populations. Palliative care and rehabilitation are by
definition complex interventions, and our concept-to-care programme of
interventions supports the KCL “Pathway to Impact on Health” through our
MRC-funded programme to refine and implement the MRC framework to develop and
test complex interventions. The complexity of person-centred care is reflected
in our large multidisciplinary clinical academic team.
Many of our
measures and tools are freely available and downloadable, see for example www.pos-pal.org.
The department has an international reputation for
teaching and research, and benefits from being set within a multi-faculty
institution. The department’s members embrace a range of methodologies, both
quantitative and qualitative, and collaborate widely, within and beyond the UK,
see our teaching and courses pages.