Research active hospice

As a research active hospice, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices makes stringent efforts to continually promote evidence-based practice and research, to support high quality care and services for children with life limiting conditions and their families. Whilst increasing in recent years, research evidence within children’s palliative care remains sparse compared with that underpinning care of the adult population with palliative care needs.

Within the hospice environment staff are enabled to keep abreast of current research to ensure best practice. One such way is through the establishment of a Journal Club which other hospices have highlighted as an example of Best Practice.

Our dynamic Education team ensure that all the staff training and education is updated to reflect current evidence relevant to our specialism. We support both internal and external research in the different facets of children’s palliative care and we run a research programme in collaboration and partnership with professionals from leading academic and clinical centres. We recognise the need for partnership working with academic institutions, so we participate in research supported by academic expertise, knowledge and skills. We already work in partnership with other relevant national organisations such as the Association for Paediatric Palliative Medicine and Together for Short Lives.

Funding is needed to build and sustain a program of research. Research is expensive and the costs are unlikely to diminish in the coming years. We are aiming to further develop our existing program of research in order to keep pace with the changing needs of the population served and to maintain the standing of our care services within the wider children’s palliative care network.

We continue to further develop research capacity and capability through:

  • Commitment to evidence-based practice and research
  • Collaboration and partnership
  • Securing research grants and funding

Our research themes are broad and include:

  • Medical Research
  • Nursing & Psychosocial Research
  • Emotional & Physical Therapy Research
  • Workforce Research

Our Research Governance Committee is made up of internal and external professionals who are enthused about building research capacity and looking at new and more effective ways to provide care for children and their families. The committee are responsible in ensuring that any research carried out is robust, ethical, relevant, appropriate, completed and disseminated. There are still gaps in knowledge regarding children’s palliative care – patient-focused evidence of needs, experiences and the effectiveness of interventions are a priority for us now and for the future.