Frequently asked questions

We have prepared some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that will be of interest to people who wish to submit abstracts.

Submitting an abstract

Why submit an abstract to the Hospice UK conference?

Submitting an abstract is a great way to share and disseminate your work and ideas. It has benefits for both the individual and the organisation you work for.

It enables a public discussion of your work as well as opportunities to talk with others to learn from and share, ideas and experiences.

Accepted abstracts will appear in a conference supplement published by BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care and may also appear on Hospice UK's website.

Please note that by submitting an abstract, you and any other authors of the abstract agree to Hospice UK's terms and conditions, and also to the terms and conditions of BMJ's standard license to publish for abstracts, as publisher of the selected abstracts, within an online conference supplement of BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care.

View terms and conditions, and BMJ's standard license.

Do you only accept abstracts on clinical topics?

No! Anyone can submit an abstract if it meets the criteria listed below. We are keen to hear from anyone involved in hospice, palliative and end of life care in the voluntary sector, NHS and other sectors e.g. care homes and across the full range of roles, including clinicians, educationalists, fundraisers, marketers, managers, social workers, trustees and volunteers.

Can we submit abstracts about work which has already been presented at other conferences or published elsewhere? 

No, we cannot consider abstracts about work that has been presented or published elsewhere. 

If an abstract is accepted as an oral presentation, do the authors have to attend conference? 

If your abstract is accepted for oral presentation, one of the named authors who is giving the presentation must register and pay to attend on the day of their presentation.

If an abstract is accepted as a displayed poster, do the authors have to attend conference?

If your abstract is accepted for display as a poster, at least one of the named authors must register and pay to attend some of the conference. If the conference goes ahead at a physical venue authors must make their own arrangements for putting up and taking down their poster.

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Writing your abstract

The text of your abstract should not exceed 300 words, excluding the title, authors’ names and references. The title should not exceed 100 characters.

Abstracts must be written in English and any abbreviations explained.

In order to facilitate the anonymous review process, the abstract text should not contain information about its authors or employing organisations.

Where appropriate, you should: 

  • use generic, rather than proprietary, names of drugs
  • indicate the source of any funding of your work or any conflicts of interest

You can pick up further tips on writing an abstract by reading the News from Hospice UK article ‘How to write a compelling abstract for Hospice UK’s national conference’.

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How will accepted abstracts be presented at the conference?

Abstracts will be presented as short talks (oral presentations) or displayed as posters.

Oral presentations

Oral presentations are for a maximum of 15 minutes (10 minutes presentation, plus 5 minutes for questions). They are grouped into themed sessions.


All accepted posters will be displayed, and available for viewing in the exhibition hall, throughout the three days of the conference.

The main author or one of the authors, if an abstract has been submitted by several people, is expected to be available by their poster/s during breaks to discuss their work. We appreciate this will not be possible at all breaks.

To enable conference participants to link directly with you please ensure A4 copies of your posters with your contact details on are available for those attending conference to take away.

You may also wish to consider adding a notice to your board to let participants know when you are next planning to be present or for them to leave you a short message.

Please note that in light of the pandemic, Hospice UK will be monitoring the situation carefully and may, at its sole discretion, opt to hold the conference online instead of at a physical venue.

If the conference does move online then the poster exhibition will also go ahead online.

As in previous years, we will be awarding a prize to one of the posters, courtesy of the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. The criteria for the poster prizes will be content, design and innovation.

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Categories of abstracts

The online submission form asks you to select the theme under which you want to submit your abstract. The themes are:

  • Resourcing palliative care;
  • The palliative care workforce;
  • Transformation;
  • Inequalities of access,
  • Mental health and wellbeing;
  • and Other.

Your abstract may be about completed work in order to stimulate discussion and knowledge about its impact, sustainability, generalisability, and to enable others to build on established findings.

Typically, it will include completed research or formal evaluation/report of an intervention, audit, activity, service or literature review.  

Alternatively your abstract could be about ongoing work of, for example, work in progress of an intervention, activity, service or review of literature.

Completed work

This category showcases completed work in order to stimulate discussion and knowledge about its impact on care, sustainability, generalisability, and whether it can be duplicated.

Typically, it will include completed research or formal evaluation/report of an intervention, activity, service or literature review.  

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Reviewing and scoring abstracts

How will abstracts be reviewed and scored?

The aim of the anonymous peer review process is to give everyone an equal opportunity for their abstract to be selected for an oral presentation or displayed poster.

The reviewers do not know the names or workplace of people whose abstracts they review. Each abstract is independently scored against a set criteria of headings by two reviewers. These scores inform decisions made at the final abstract decision meeting (held later in the summer).

We strongly advise you to describe enough detail under each of the headings so that the peer reviewers can allocate scores for your abstract. All sections are scored so ALL sections should have content.

Each of our peer reviewers score your abstract out of a maximum of 18 points under the following headings:

  1. Background: What is the rationale or gap in knowledge/practice that the work is based upon? (maximum 3 points)
  2. Aim(s): What does the work/project aim to achieve and who for? (maximum 3 points)
  3. Methods: What are/were the methods used to deliver or evaluate the work/project? (maximum 3 points)
  4. Results: What are/were the anticipated results and how will they make a difference? (maximum 3 points)
  5. Conclusions: Do the conclusions and recommendations for hospice and palliative care seem logical from the completed or anticipated results? (maximum 3 points)
  6. How innovative or of interest is the abstract? (maximum 3 points)

In addition, you are encouraged to include five references, using the Vancouver style of referencing. For more information about the Vancouver style of referencing, see this guide from the library at the University of York.

The peer reviewers will also be asked for their recommendation for oral presentation, displayed poster or declined as well as given an opportunity to add any final comments.

To help you, a copy of the scoring criteria sheet is available to download.

We have also produced the following imaginary examples of abstracts with explanations as to why they would or wouldn’t be accepted:

Good luck and we look forward to receiving your abstract!

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Timeline and submitting an abstract

The deadline for submitting an abstract is 5pm on Monday 21June 2021. Note that there will be no extensions to this deadline.

Once you have submitted your abstract, you will not be able to edit the content.

You will receive an automated email response confirming receipt. If you do not receive this, please contact Lisa at:

To submit you will need to click on the ‘Submit Abstract’ button below, where you will then be prompted to either login using an existing account, register or continue as a guest.

We advise that if you have not already done so, you register a new account as this will allow you to log back into your profile at a later date and view the status of your abstract submission. 

Please register using the email address you wish to be contacted on in relation to your abstract/s. The registration link is:

If you have any problems submitting your abstract, please email:

During the week beginning 19 July we’ll let you know whether your abstract has been accepted.

Should you have any queries, please contact Lisa at:

Contact us

If the FAQs didn’t answer your question or you would like to talk to us about your project and the Call for Papers please get in touch via email at   

Submit your abstract now.

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