Our Mission

Compassionate Communities UK has been developed to work the 95% of time when there is no professional or health service contact. Compassionate communities (and cities) recognize the central role that chronic ill health and mortality plays in the minds, behaviors and social meanings that people develop when confronted with experiences of all serious illness, ageing, caregiving and loss. They complement the efforts of all health promotion activities in national communities. The practice approach is essentially the same – i.e. civic engagement and community development, public education, and changes to the social and policy environment. Compassionate communities are communities that squarely recognize the major but under-recognized, the least spoken about, and the most overlooked human experiences in all communities – serious illness, ageing, dying, caregiving and loss – and the need to recognize that even these populations have a right to health and wellbeing and strategies to address the additional morbidities (illnesses) and mortalities (deaths) that are consequences of their other experiences of ageing, serious illness, caregiving, or loss.


With our extensive expertise, we provide a variety of different services relating to the public health approach to the spectrum of chronic disease management into end of life care including bereavement. 

  • Provide guidance and expertise through a consultancy service
  • Provide education programmes on the public health approach to end of life care, including how to work with naturally occurring networks, build compassionate communities and run a civic programme such as implementation of the Compassionate City Charter
  • Act as a source of guidance on policy formation at local, regional, national and international levels
  • Formulate project plans for small, medium or large scale projects
  • Oversee or run projects on the ground
  • Formulate and provide expertise on programmes of evaluation, including reports
  • Act as research partners 



Professor Kellehear is the innovator and international lead for the public health approach to palliative and end of life care. He set up and ran the End of Life Care Department at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia. This included running a programme with Palliative Care Australia and the state government of Victoria. He has written books, published articles of research, practice and innovation which are the standard texts in this area. He has run similar programmes in the UK, Japan and Canada. He is President of Public Health Palliative Care International. He is currently 50th Anniversary Professor of End of Life Care and Director of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone at the University of Bradford. Professor Kellehear has formed a collaborative of 5 cities across the UK, Ireland, Spain and Austria who are running Compassionate Cities programmes. Together, they are applying for a European Grant under the Horizon 2020 programme. The team works by meeting regularly with the view to exchanging plans and expertise as these programmes gather momentum.

Dr Julian Abel is a Consultant in Palliative Care. He has been leading in the field of the public health approach to end of life care in England, contributing to the refreshing of the national end of life strategy, The End of Life and Palliative Care Ambitions Framework 2015 -2020 and has written the guidance to Ambition 6, Communities are Prepared to Help. He has led and inspired projects locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. He has published leading papers in this area. He has experience leading and participating in programmes both regionally and nationally in a number of areas of end of life care. He is Vice President of Public Health Palliative Care International and Chair of the UK Branch. He led the organising committee for the 4th International Conference Public Health Palliative Care in Bristol in May 2015.

Both Professor Kellehear and Dr Abel have a track record in initiating, finding funding and running projects. They are also international leads in the field and have worked with the major end of life organisations in the UK, including the National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the different iterations of the National End of Life Programme for NHS England, as well as NHS IQ and NHS Improvement. 

Dr Catherine Millington Sanders is Lead GP for End of Life for the Royal College of General Practice and GP representative for Marie Curie. As well as being a practising GP, she is a commissioner for end of life for Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group. She is End of Life Care Clinical Lead for the South West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan with longstanding experience of developing and embedding strategy for end of life care regional plans.



Our board members are

·      Peter Ellis - Until recently he was chief executive of Richard House Children's Hospice and is knowledgeable about community development at end of life. He is the Treasurer for Public Health Palliative Care International and the UK Branch.

·      Manjula Patel is Chief Executive Director of Murray Hall Trust, with a 20 year background in community development. Manjula is completing her PhD in this area and has been at the forefront of taking this approach forward in the UK.

·      Ed Straw  is a writer on systems of government and their radical overhaul. He is a visiting fellow at the Open University in the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice group. He was a consulting partner at PwC for 20 years, chair of Relate, and chair of Demos, and government adviser.