Presentation “Leadership and Leadership Education in Palliative Care” at the 14. Annual SECPAL Conference

On Tuesday, October 26th 2021, Dr. Gerrit Frerich, EUPCA Coordinator from the University Hospital Cologne, held a presentation at the 14th annual conference of the Spanish Society for Palliative Care (SECPAL). This conference gathers palliative care (henceforth: PC) experts from Spain and beyond to present on recent developments in the field, showcase their ideas, and help drive forward PC supply.


As coordinator of a PC leadership curriculum, Dr. Frerich talked about Leadership and Leadership Education in Palliative Care. Coming from a distinguished German hospital, he first talked about the status quo in Germany with a special focus on the national Hospice and PC act which is unique to Germany. Introduced in 2015, it has produced a variety of favourable outcomes for national palliative and hospice care. He then contrasted the concepts of leadership vs. management, and presented different leadership styles and frameworks that can be found in a PC environment, such as shared leadership or charismatic leadership, and their respective benefits and limitations. Furthermore, he presented the first brand new outcomes from the EAPC Leadership Task Force which is responsible for compiling a list of international PC leadership programmes, a list of international PC leadership experts, and for establishing a consensus on recommendations on core competencies in PC leadership. Among other results, they found out that teamwork ist he most important skillset for a leader, and that PC leaders need to embrace the holistic PC approach. Further results will help to make recommendations on contents and didactics of PC leadership education.


Finally, he put the spotlight of some of the aforementioned PC leadership curricula: a joint PC MSc Programme from three universities in Austria, a PC Nurse Fellowship programme at Makere University in Uganda, a Strategic Leadership Programme by Hospice UK and the Westscott Group, a Fellowship in PC programme at St. Christopher’s Hospice in the UK, and finally the International MSc Leadership in Palliative Care. This programme is hosted by 5 different renowned institutions across Europe and facilitated in cooperation with EUPCA, and has trained more than 80 participants in PC leaderhsip since ist establishment in 2013.