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Pain, palliation and ethics of end of life care

Developed by: UKCPA Critical Care and Care of the Elderly Groups'


08, Oct 2019


Guy's Hospital
Great Maze Pond

£ Prices

Members: £90
Non-Members: £135

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RPS Accredited Training Provider


Critical Care and Elderly Care are often confronted with the challenge of how much care should they provide. Many techniques of managing of pain have been developed for both acute, chronic and palliative care.  Making patients comfortable and end of life care are important facets of elderly care and critical care. Physiological function is different from chronological deterioration so how do we limit providing support with withdrawing care.

The day will focus on issues predominant in elderly patients or those with multiple co-morbidities, and is suitable for pharmacists who have recently specialised as prescribers as well as those who wonder how decisions are made about the transition to end of life care, including what factors influence what we should do in the best interests of the patient and what we can do where pain management is complex.  Advanced practitioners will be exposed to multiple modes of delivery of analgesia and may be drawn into discussions on the ethics of further care. How do we competently discharge a patient home to die where the need is both urgent and complex?

The day will cover:

  • The key features of consent and end of life decisions
  • Decisions to withhold and withdraw life-sustaining treatments in intensive care
  • The importance of effective multidisciplinary discharge planning to ensure continuity of care after discharge
  • Pain management techniques for acute, chronic and palliative care

Target audience

This event has been designed for secondary care pharmacists involved in the care of patients with Pain management problems or those where the ethics of futility are explored.  The event is suitable for pharmacists who have recently specialised as well as those who are working at early advanced levels.

This event will be of particular benefit to pharmacists involved in providing and developing services in Critical care and Elderly Care in secondary care, particularly:

  • Pharmacists practising at advanced level with an interest in pain management (from acute pain to palliation)
  • Pharmacists prescribers wanting an update on patient consent (Montgomery) for pharmacist prescribing
  • Pharmacists who have an interest in consent and how the decision is made on whether further intervention is in the patient’s best  interest
  • Pharmacists involved in reducing the number of medicines prescribed (deprescribing)
  • Pharmacists who wish to refresh their knowledge in complex pain management syringe drivers and discharge for end of life care


The aim of this day is to equip pharmacists with the skills to optimise pharmaceutical care for patients with complex pain management problems and to identify and understand the important issues affecting their management.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this masterclass, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss complex acute Pain management and palliative analgesia
  • Summarise the differences between classes of different analgesic agents in a level 2 (or below) patient
  • Describe the basic pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of analgesic agents in a level 2 (or below) patient
  • Discuss different modes of delivery of analgesia and what to monitor
  • Describe different indirect factors that affect pain perception and how to manage them
  • Describe the management aims of palliative care and other processes to ensure a dignified death for patients
  • Summarise the basic pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of drugs used for symptom control in palliative care and what to monitor
  • Describe the differences between ‘end of life’ decision including ‘not for active resuscitation’, ‘not for treatment escalation’ and ‘withdrawal of support
  • Describe the concept of futility and its application to critical care and elderly care

Additional information

Peer discussion opportunities will be available at this event, which can also be used towards your CPD and portfolios. Advanced booking essential.

Attending this event will help you advance your professional practice and could be used as evidence in your RPS Faculty and GPhC revalidation portfolios. 

This event has been financially supported by the pharmaceutical industry, including:


Note: The stand sponsors above have no input into the content of this event.  Promotional stands from these companies will be exhibited at this event.