Little Stars – UK Hospice Going Global

This week we are pleased to be supporting the release of a short film that encourages sharing skills and knowledge of children’s palliative care internationally. This film explains what we can learn together by international linking and collaboration.

Dame Cicely Saunders had a global vision: that palliative care should become part of mainstream health care and that its principles and skills should be adapted to local settings and cultures.  

Hospice and palliative care has now developed in 136 countries, but only 66 of these have some form of children’s palliative care. There is still so much to do to make sure everyone with a life-limiting illness has access to medical, psychological, spiritual and social support.

Across the world, it is thought that there are 20 million children who could benefit from palliative care. Unfortunately, despite palliative care being an essential human right, only a very small minority of these children will have access to the care they need. Unlike children in the UK, many children around the world have no alternative but to suffer unnecessary pain and isolation.

This is because there is a lack of understanding of what children’s palliative care is and who it is for. Very few health workers are trained in working with children. Crucially, across the world there is fear and taboo in acknowledging illness and death in children – both by families and also by health professionals.

It doesn’t matter where they are in the world, all children have the same palliative care needs. Even when resources are limited, good quality hospice and palliative care for children can be provided – it may look different but the end result is the same – improving quality of life, and relieving suffering.

Ultimately we are all working to let children be children as much as possible. We need to do more. We have a responsibility to come together and share our knowledge.

Please watch this film to find out more about international children’s palliative care and how to get involved

email: Sue at

You can find more useful information at



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