Cicely Saunders Institute

Dementia is among the leading causes of death in the UK but the extent and availability of end of life care for dementia patients is variable and inconsistent.  The mission of the Cicely Saunders Institute is to pioneer the very best in palliative care and rehabilitation by integrating cutting edge research, skilled multi-professional care, and innovative engagement and education for healthcare professionals, patients and carers.  Palliative care provides an extra level of support for patients and their families whatever their diagnosis.  The goal is the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, and includes control of pain and other symptoms, as well as attention to psychological, social and spiritual problems. The Institute works collaboratively with many groups, patients, families and service users, clinicians, health and social care services and policy makers.


The Institute is committed to building new knowledge and discovering new treatments through world-leading clinical, applied and health services research.  The Institute translates its research quickly into care, practice and policy, enabling people to live better, with dignity and the least possible suffering.

The Institute is a key participant in the research programme ‘Empowering Better End of Life Dementia Care’, which brings together expertise in old age psychiatry, dementia care and palliative care.  The aims of the programme are to understand current and future need, develop novel care innovations, ensure the right services are in the right place at the right time, and promote international collaboration in research and practice.  It is hoped that the end result will be a step-change in how care is provided for people with any type of dementia, to maximise their quality of life.

Read more here about the Institute’s research.  The Institute involves patients and their families directly in its research projects, to ensure their needs and experiences are met.  Anyone interested in participating in the Institute’s research can join the online forum here. 


Senior patient with doctorThe Institute offers palliative care courses and other resources relevant to palliative care. Training in best practice in end of life care is provided for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The Institute also offers a range of support services and information for patients and their families.  The Institute is home to the clinical palliative care team of King’s College Hospital, which provides support for individualised end of life care for all patients with advanced disease, including symptom control and complex psychological care.  The care team focuses on improving the quality of life for patients, and on treating patients and carers with dignity and respect at all times.

Read more here about the Institute’s services...