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Palliative carers should get social – expert

Palliative care professionals were encouraged to get online and get social by expert Dr Christian Sinclair.

Dr Sinclair, an assistant professor of palliative medicine at the University of Kansas, says social media offers opportunities for support but also to create new connections and teach the broader public about palliative care.

Speaking to PCA before the conference Dr Sinclair said:

“People who are passionate about their clinical work often see inequality, with patients not having access to palliative care through lack of knowledge, resources or clinicians.

“The only way to change that is if we help create a better grassroots demand for palliative care. We need to get the public to ask for it. First they need to know what it is and then they will ask ‘why don’t I have it?’,” he said.

Dr Sinclair has worked in hospital and outpatient-based palliative care for 12 years and says people working in palliative care may hesitate about mixing their personal lives and interests with palliative care advocacy, but this was key to sharing information successfully on social media.

“In the first instance people might find you because of your recipes, but then they will also stumble upon your palliative care resources. Just because you started collating information, other people will start following you and you’ve become an influencer,” he added.

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