Dr Heather Richardson

heather richardson

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St Christopher's profile

Dr Heather Richardson

Senior Research Fellow

Heather is the Education, Research and End of Life Policy Lead at St Christopher’s Hospice in London. St Christopher’s is assumed to be the first modern hospice worldwide and a leader of hospice care today. 

Born and educated in Kenya, Heather trained as a general and mental health nurse at the Royal London Hospital between 1983 and 1987 before moving into end-of-life care in 1989. Over the past 30 years she has held a variety of clinical and leadership roles within the specialty of palliative care, with local, national and international responsibilities.  Her ambition in them all has been to improve the experience of people facing progressive and life-threatening conditions, their relatives and family carers through service innovation and improvement, policy and workforce development. Her role prior to moving to St Christopher’s was National Clinical Lead at Hospice UK - the UK’s leading charity for hospice care which supports and over 200 hospices across the UK. In this role she served as executive lead on a national commission into the future of hospice care.  

Heather coordinates research activity at St Christopher’s, establishing strategic partnerships, supporting individuals and building internal capacity and funding. Her current efforts focus on outcomes measurement in palliative care, the interface between end of life and frailty and public health approaches to end of life. Since 2014 she has enjoyed an honorary chair at Lancaster University as part of the End of Life Care Observatory in the Faculty of Health and Medicine. 


Chapter contributions: 
Hodgson and Richardson 2022   Pedagogical approaches for professional learning.. In: Abel J and Kellehear A (eds.) The Oxford Textbook of Public Health Palliative Care. Oxford University Press, Oxford; In press

Kumar S, Sallnow L, and Richardson H. Collaborative Programmes Between Government and Civil Society: Scope, Challenges and Models. In Palliative Care for Chronic Cancer Patients in the Community (pp. 489-496). Springer, Cham; 2021.

Sallnow and Richardson, 2018. Volunteering and Community.  In The Changing Face of Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care, edited by Ros Scott and Steven Howlett. Oxford University Press

Sallnow, Bunnin and Richardson, 2015. Community development and hospices – a national UK perspective. In: Wegleitner K, Heimerl K and Kellehear A (eds). Compassionate Communities. Case studies from Britain and Europe, Abingdon: Routledge, 2015, 1-14.

Special issues
Richardson H and Chowns G, (Guest Editors) 2016. Social work practice in end of life care. Special Issue of Journal of Social Work Practice 

Later published as a book by Taylor and Francis, called Social Work Practice and End of Life Care

Journal papers: academic journals
Noonan K, Sallnow L and Richardson H. (2020) Ten years of public health palliative care conferences: a critical reflection for the next decade. Progress in Palliative Care.;28(2), pp.78-82.

Khamis AM, Bradshaw A, Santarelli M, et al.2020. Demonstrating the impact of palliative care: secondary analysis of routinely-collected clinical and person-centred outcomes data among hospice inpatients. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care ;10:A1-A2.

Larkin, Murtagh, Richardson, Bluebond Langner and Payne. 2016. Collaboration: Securing a future for palliative care research. Palliative Medicine. Vol 30(8) 709-710

Sallnow L, Tishelman C, Lindqvist O, Richardson H, Cohen J, 2015. Research in public health and end of life care. Building on the past and developing the new. Progress in Palliative care (in press)

Sallnow L, Richardson H, Murray SA, Kellehear A 2016. The impact of a new public health approach to end of life care: A systematic review. Palliative Medicine. Vol 30 (3) 200-211