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Our research

Find out about the latest research projects and development opportunities at Pilgrims Hospices.

As one of the largest hospices in the UK we are continuously developing our research portfolio into end-of-life care at both a local and national level.

We benefit from excellent links with the University of Kent and other educational partners, and actively share our best practice findings.

In this way, Pilgrims Hospices helps to ensure that palliative care meets the needs of the patient and their carers and that new ways of working are developed, evaluated, and tested before being put into practice.

Our research team

  • Dr Andrew Thorns, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet, is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care at the Centre for Professional Practice at the University of Kent. He co-leads the delivery of a Masters programme in Supportive and Palliative Care which has enabled students to develop a number of local research projects. Andrew chairs the Hospices’ Research Facilitation Forum and also a local (Kent and Medway) Specialty Research Group in Palliative Care, under the auspices of the National Cancer Research Institute.
  • Dr Claire Butler, Medical Director of Pilgrims Hospices, is the principal investigator for a national portfolio study: Evaluation of Pilgrims Hospices Rapid Response Hospice at Home Service. This research project is supported by a research grant from the NHS.
  • Dr Declan Cawley is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Pilgrims Hospices and Research Fellow at the University of Kent. The holistic needs assessment of COPD patients and their carers is the focus of the PhD. He is a principal investigator for a national portfolio study looking at the use of Modafinil in patients with advanced lung cancer. Dr Cawley’s post aims to bring the palliative medicine research agenda forward in collaboration with other healthcare professionals and academia.
  • Mrs Rose Ward is the most recent member of the research team. She is working as a research nurse for three days each week, funded by the Comprehensive Local Research Network and seconded to Pilgrims Hospices.


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