The King's Fund and Marie Curie Cancer Care announce new partnership role on end-of-life care

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The King's Fund and Marie Curie Cancer Care are pleased to announce an extension of their partnership to improve end-of-life care. From September 2008, The King's Fund Director of Development, Steve Dewar, will take up a shared post between the two organisations. He will work to develop the contribution of both organisations to the further improvement of end-of-life services across the UK.

The King's Fund aims to boost the support that it can provide to the development of the best end-of-life policies and practices for better care, working to strengthen the evidence base for change. At Marie Curie Cancer Care, the new post will help the organisation make the most of its investment in end-of-life research – working to encourage the development of a robust understanding of best practice and the implementation of evidence-based improvements to services.

Steve Dewar has conducted research and published widely on end-of-life care, including Improving Environments for Care at End of Life and Improving Choice at End of Life, both published in April of this year. Over the last decade Steve has worked as a Director of both Policy and Development directorates at The King's Fund.

Chief Executive of The King's Fund, Niall Dickson, said:

'We are delighted that Steve will be taking on this important role. He is highly respected within the field and has a wide knowledge and deep understanding of the challenges facing the development of a better system of care at the end of life.'

Chief Executive of the Marie Curie Cancer Care, Tom Hughes-Hallett, said:

'This is an opportunity to bring together the efforts of both of our organisations to improve end-of-life care in the UK. Together, I believe it will be possible to bring new vigour to the vital task of building and implementing a strong evidence base for better care.'

Commenting on his new role, Steve Dewar said:

'I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to take forward the partnership between Marie Curie Cancer Care and The King's Fund in such a crucial area of care that affects us all. I look forward to building on the reputation of both organisations for high-quality research and analysis and ensuring that this work helps improve care at end of life for all those that need it.'

Find out more about the Choice at the end of life project

Visit Marie Curie Cancer Care website

Notes to editors

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact The King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.

  2. The King’s Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.
  3. Marie Curie Cancer Care Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other health care professionals, it expects to provide care to around 27,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its 10 hospices this year, and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS. The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end-of-life care, totally free for patients in their own homes. Around 70 per cent of the charity’s income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of our funds coming from the NHS. In 2008/09 it needs to raise £115 million. The charity has two centres for palliative care research, The Marie Curie Palliative Care Unit in London and The Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool. It also runs the world-renowned Marie Curie Research Institute, which investigates the causes and treatments of cancer. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die at home. In 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care launched its first major palliative care service improvement plan, the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme, to provide greater choice for patients in end-of-life care. The programme has five projects underway across the UK – in Lincolnshire, Leeds, Tayside (Scotland), Barnet (north London) and south-east London.
  4. For further information contact Alex Holdaway, Head of Public Relations at Marie Curie Cancer Care, on 020 7599 7702 or