Speakers – St Clare Hospice Palliative Care Conference 2023


Plenary Speakers

Professor Erica Borgstrom

Professor Erica Borgstrom is a Senior Lecturer at The Open University (OU). She specialises in researching end-of-life care from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Her work juxtaposes policy, practice, and people’s everyday experiences. She has won international awards for her research and public engagement, including working with the BBC. Since 2020, she is the lead for Open Thanatology, an interdisciplinary research group at the OU that promotes the study and education of death, dying, loss and grief across the life course. Erica is editor of Mortality – an international, interdisciplinary journal of death studies – as well as a book series editor for Death and Culture (Bristol University Press) and a council member for the Association for the Study of Death and Society.

Plenary talk: Realising the Ambitions Framework for Palliative and End-of-Life Care: Learning from research

Revd. Dr Peter Speck

Revd. Dr Peter Speck is a visiting Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care at the Cicely Saunders Institute, Kings College London.

He graduated with a BSc in zoology and biochemistry from the University of Wales (Bangor), then obtained a BA (Birmingham) in Theology, an MA (Birmingham) and a Postgraduate Diploma in pastoral counselling. After working as an ordained priest in the Anglican Church in Wales, he later moved to healthcare chaplaincy in Sheffield, London (Royal Free Hospital, as a chaplain and senior lecturer in medical ethics in RFH Medical School), and Southampton (as chaplain and co-chair of Clinical Ethics Group). He trained in organisational consultancy at the Tavistock Institute, and became a visiting tutor. More recently he received full Doctor of Medicine degree (Cantaur) in 2012.

He has authored and contributed to several books on palliative care and numerous peer-reviewed papers relating to spirituality in palliative care and teamwork.

Plenary talk: Spiritual Aspects of Distress in End-of-Life Care

Professor Stephen Barclay

Professor Stephen Barclay works clinically in General Practice and as a hospice Honorary Consultant. He is Professor of Palliative Care at the University of Cambridge, where he leads the Cambridge Palliative and End of Life Care Group PELiCam and the teaching of Palliative Care in the Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

He is Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care (PEOLC) for the Cambridge and Peterborough Integrated Care System and is Clinical Lead for the NHS East of England Strategic Clinical Network for PEOLC.

Plenary talk: Palliative Care Learning and Education: Vital for everyone working in health and social care

Haylo Theatre Company

Haylo is a two-woman theatre company who use the arts to explore and engage with issues affecting our communities. Their work serves to highlight key issues within areas of health and social care by generating conversations. They bring together students, professionals and the public and create a space for dialogue.

Multi-agency working within the health and social care sector has enabled them to explore ways in which the arts can connect with people on an emotive human level. Their work can be used as a tool to enable insights and generate discussions on prevalent and complex issues.

Plenary talk: ‘Nothing out of the Ordinary’: A theatrical performance to encourage open and difficult conversations

Download the 2023 Agenda.

Sessional Speakers

Caroline Ashton-Gough is an experienced nurse currently working as Admiral Nurse/Dementia Clinical Specialist at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Caroline qualified in 1996 at Anglia Ruskin University (it was called Polytechnic back then), with a Dip Adult Nursing (Project 2000). She has a BSc in specialist palliative care, MsC in advanced nursing practice, MSc in advanced care in dementia and is currently a Doctorate in Health research student at the University of Hertfordshire.  

Barbara Altounyan created The Hospice Biographers in November 2017. She recorded her very first audio biography many years ago when she learned that her own father was terminally ill. Barbara suggested to her family that she should record her father’s life story whilst there was still time. Barbara postponed her BBC TV career, ‘borrowed’ a recorder from the Beeb and set about recording her father’s entire life story. Two weeks after completion he sadly died. Not surprisingly, all the members of her family then wanted copies of her audio interviews and today those life story recordings remain one of her family’s greatest heirlooms. Later Barbara resumed her career in TV where she still works today. 

Trevor Farrington is a nurse consultant in palliative care, who has been working at St Clare Hospice for three years. His particular professional interests are developing contemporary therapy services in an inpatient and outpatient setting together with evaluating the role of acupuncture at the Hospice. Away from work he is a passionate football fan and keen golfer. 

Dr Sarah Foot is a palliative medicine trainee working in Essex. She enjoys cycling in all weathers and gardening in the sunshine. She has an interest in sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of healthcare organisations. 

Kate Heaps is the Chief Executive at Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice. Kate has over 25 years experience in the NHS and voluntary sectors; as a Nurse and in Commissioning and Service Improvement roles. Kate has a strong sense of social justice and is passionate about nursing and palliative care, workforce development and system leadership. Since she joined the hospice in 2006 she’s developed services to be flexible and joined-up and to support people whoever and wherever they are across the community we serve.  

Kate is Clinical Lead for the new SE London ICS PEoLC Network, which is working to improve the quality, accessibility and sustainability of services for people approaching the end of life. She holds an honorary contract at King’s College London, and is Chair of the Board for Share Community, a disability charity. 

Laureen Hemming is a qualified Grief Recovery Method Specialist. Her interest in loss, grief and bereavement stems from her own personal experiences of loss and from her professional role as a nurse. 

After qualifying as a nurse, she had a range of jobs culminating in being appointed as a ward sister to an elderly care ward at a very young age for a ‘Ward Sister’. She recognised that experienced as she was, her basic nursing training did not give her all the knowledge she felt she needed, and with support from a Nurse Tutor at Guys Hospital, she embarked on further education. That journey eventually resulted in her becoming a Senior Lecturer in Nursing, and leading and teaching degree programmes in end of life care and cancer care. 

She now uses the Grief Recovery Method to support bereaved people in the St Albans area. 

Kate Masters is a well-known advocate for empowering the voices of patients and families, after going through personal experiences. She has made patients’ views known by speaking, writing, submitting to government and other organisations. She has a powerful story to tell and for professionals to learn from.   

Patricia McCrossan has specialised in palliative care social work and has over 20 years’ experience working in hospices. She is a qualified social worker with a PGDip in Systemic Practice, Counselling and a MSc in Psychosocial Palliative Care. Her particular areas of interest are person-centred approaches, narrative theory, quality improvement and she is an experienced professional development and reflective practice lead.  

Dr Guy Peryer is a chartered psychologist and a chartered scientist working at UEA and with the NIHR East of England Applied Research Collaboration. The theme of his PhD centered on user-centred design and complex systems. He has a MSc in the Psychology of Music and is trained in cognitive behavioural psychotherapy. His research interest lies in expanding community involvement in palliative and end of life care and working towards NHS England’s improvement ambition statement: ‘Each Community is Prepared to Help’.  

Dr Junko Suzuki is a General Practice trainee currently working as GPST3 at the Ongar Health Centre in Essex. Junko qualified at Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London in 2017. She was working as a trainee at St Clare Hospice when she co-led a collaborative project between St Clare and local care homes, supporting patients in care homes with palliative care needs and care home staff in West Essex.   

Professor Robert Thomas is a full time NHS Consultant Oncologist at Bedford and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals. He is also a Clinical teacher at Cambridge University and a visiting Professor of Sports and Nutritional science at the University of Bedfordshire.  

He was chair of the Exercise Expert Advisory committee for Macmillan Cancer Support, an editorial member of the National Cancer Research Complementary Research and the NICE survivorship committees. He designed the UK’s first national course for a qualification in cancer exercise rehabilitation and is patron of three survivorship charities. 

He is currently editor of the lifestyle and cancer website Cancernet.co.uk and is head of a Lifestyle Research Unit which designs and conducts scientific studies evaluating the impact of exercise, diet and natural therapies on cancer, other chronic diseases and more recently Covid.  

In collaboration with colleagues, he has published over 100 peer reviewed scientific papers and regularly presents this research across the World. This includes several RCT’s evaluating various nutritional interventions for prostate cancer. Since early 2020 he, and his team, have devoted academic attention to gut health, sleep quality, probiotics and covid-19 (The Phyto-V study). This intevention is now being evualted in another national trial to lower side effects and boost effectiveness of the covid vaccine. 

Recently he has been appointed Medical editor for National World News, is author of the UK bestseller “How to Live” and has been awarded the UK’s “Hospital Doctor of the Year”, The British Oncology Association “Oncologist of the Year” and The Royal College of Radiologist Research Medal. 

Olivia (Liv) Warnes is the Policy and Advocacy Officer at Hospice UK. She has worked across inequity in access to and experiences of palliative and end of life care for trans and gender diverse communities and is the author of the I Just Want To Be Me report. She has also worked particularly on bereavement, and the impact of COVID-19 on palliative and end of life care. 

Dr Beth Williams is the Medical Team Lead at Isabel Hospice in Hertfordshire. She has extensive experience of providing specialist palliative care and of leading a medical team.  

Download the 2023 Agenda.