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Rapid evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic response by palliative and end of life care: national delivery, workforce and symptom management (CovPall)

Project: Research


CovPall is a new project that is trying to understand more about how palliative care services and hospices are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the problems that services and patients and families/those affected by COVID-19 are facing, and how to best respond. Why does this research matter? COVID-19 is a new disease. It has become a pandemic. Although many people do recover, even after very serious illness, unfortunately some people become very ill, some people have very severe symptoms and sadly some people die. To support people in many settings palliative care services and hospices have changed rapidly how they work. They are supporting existing patients who don’t have COVID-19, and also those with COVID-19 who have severe symptoms or are dying. In addition, the symptoms that people experience, and the best treatments for these symptoms, are not well understood. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand how palliative and end of life care services have responded to COVID-19. Learning from each other will speed up the responses and help future plans. What do we want to find out? We want to find out how palliative care and hospice services have changed how their staff, volunteers and others have adapted what they do, and their challenges and innovations. We have referred to this as Work Package 1 (WP1). We also want to know what symptoms and problems patients have, how they change over time, what treatments / therapies are used and what seems to work best. We have referred to this as Work Package 2 (WP2). What will we do? In WP1, we are asking the clinical lead or a delegate from hospices & palliative care services (adult & children, all settings, voluntary hospices, inpatient, home care, hospital palliative care teams) to answer to an on-line survey. The survey asks about their practices and how these have changes, and their challenges and innovations. After completing WP1, services who have indicated interest will be invited to take part in WP2. In WP2, services will collect pseudonymised information from the clinical records of around 10 patients with COVID-19 receiving palliative care input retrospectively, or where possible prospectively, at 4 time points, at first assessment in palliative care, in around two subsequent time points and at death or discharge (D or Di). Information to be collected will include the patient’s sociodemographic data, co-morbidities, symptoms, current medications given and others.
Effective start/end date20/04/2019/04/21


  • MRC: £44,285.82
  • Walshe, Catherine (Co-Investigator)
  • Preston, Nancy (Co-Investigator)
  • Irene, Higginson (Principal Investigator)
  • Murtagh, Fliss (Co-Investigator)
  • Fraser, Lorna (Co-Investigator)
  • Dunleavy, Lesley (Research Associate)
  • Sleeman, Katherine (Co-Investigator)
  • Maddocks, Matthew (Co-Investigator)
  • Hocaoglu, Mevhibe (Co-Investigator)
  • Oluyase, Adejoke (Co-Investigator)
  • Bradshaw, Andy (Researcher)


Research outputs