Professor Max Watson to join Hospice UK’s clinical team

May 12, 2017

Hospice UK today announces the appointment of Professor Max Watson - an eminent palliative care clinician and academic and the driving force behind the highly successful Project ECHO Northern Ireland – to its clinical team.

Project ECHO, which was originally developed at the University of New Mexico, involves the use of videoconferencing technology that helps train primary care clinicians to provide specialist care services for people with complex health conditions, including palliative care.

Professor Watson was formerly Medical Director of the Northern Ireland Hospice and is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster, Honorary and Senior Lecturer at Queens University in Belfast. He is also Visiting Professor, Virtual Academy at St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton and Honorary Consultant at Princess Alice Hospice, Esher.

He has authored and edited numerous books including the 'Oxford Handbook of Palliative Care' and the Palliative Adult Network Guidelines (PANG) and has taught and lectured extensively across the world.

Professor Watson piloted the use of ECHO in Northern Ireland in 2014 through the hospice and has led and promoted the growth of ECHO networks in the UK and Europe from the Northern Ireland through the project’s “Superhub” in Belfast. A superhub trains and supports other hubs using the ECHO model.

He has championed of the use of ECHO technology in Northern Ireland as a means of ‘democratising medical knowledge’, improving the delivery of palliative care in rural areas and expanding its reach to more people who need this form of care.

His new role will play a pivotal part in delivering the key goals of Hospice UK’s new five-year strategy. He will help extend the reach of hospice care and also lead the development of skills and expertise of professionals in other care settings to support people at the end of life. 

Professor Watson will join Hospice UK as Project ECHO Programme Director later this month.

Commenting on his new appointment, Professor Watson said:

“I’m really looking forward to working as part of the Hospice UK team and working to improve access to consistent quality end of life care across the UK.

“After many years of working in the Northern Ireland Hospice, the move to Hospice UK is a really exciting opportunity to learn and share new ideas as we look to a future filled with an increasing need for improved care, but ever growing demands on limited resources. 

“Working with Project ECHO at Hospice UK will provide a fantastic opportunity to create communities of practice among hospice teams to better support and extend our services to people who were previously difficult to reach.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, added:

“We are absolutely delighted that Max is joining Hospice UK.

“With his distinguished career in palliative care, including his impressive achievements with Project ECHO, he will be a tremendous asset to our clinical team.

“Max will provide the strong clinical leadership needed to take Project ECHO national, embed its ethos and approach into the UK hospice sector and help significantly extend the reach of hospice care to more people who need it.“

Notes to editors

  • Professor Watson worked in Nepal for eight years in the 1990s before completing palliative medicine training in London and Belfast.
  • Professor Watson has developed a range of teaching programmes in Palliative Care including the European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care (ECEPC) and the European Certificate in Holistic Dementia Care.
  • He is also a clinical advisor to the Gold Standards Framework Programme in the UK.

About Hospice UK

  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
  • Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • For further information about hospice care visit our website or follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews

Media enquiries: 

Please contact Suzanne Stevenson on 020 7520 8296 or by email at For out of hours media enquiries please call 07881 940 318.





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