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Completed projects

Workshop poster

Researching End of Life Care from Social Science Perspectives

This was a two-day workshop in November 2017 designed to reflect on the past sociological and anthropological engagements with end of life care practice in order to enable future contributions to understanding care practices and informing policy. The workshop is generating a set of online videos, a series of papers in European Journal of Palliative Care (EJPC), and a series of editorials in journals and professional magazines. You can find these outputs as they come available in Resources and Publications.

Longton Spiritualist Church merged with a background of bottle kilns

Spirited Stoke: Spiritualism in the everyday life of Stoke-on-Trent (SpELS)

This AHRC funded project explored how spiritualism is mapped across the historical and contemporary fabric of the city of Stoke. Led by Dr Sara MacKian, School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Professor Steve Pile from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Research Associate Nadia Bartolini, the project uncovered the hidden practice of spiritualism in Stoke, going beyond its well recognised industrial past.

Spirited Stoke

Talking with the dead

Talking about the project - still from the video

The Open University and Macmillan end of life care training packs

In 1997 the OU completed a 3 year research project into the need for palliative care for older people in care homes. The results highlighted that people were not receiving good quality care at the end of life. The OU took 15 recommendations to the Department of Health and were awarded further funding to support the development of education and training materials for care home staff. In 2011, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer support the OU developed and disseminated both participant and facilitator packs that would provide staff with the learning materials they needed to provide quality end of life care.

Mortuary table clinical image

Investigating mortuary services in hospital settings

In 2010 the British Academy funded an ethnographic study into the role of anatomical pathology technologists. Work was based in the mortuary of a large teaching hospital incorporating all mortuary work and the team into bereavement care services. Dissemination has begun with Carol Komaromy (Open University) and Kate Woodthorpe (Bath University) presenting their report Investigating mortuary services in hospital settings at the Anatomical Association's annual conference in 2010.