Interview with Robert Twycross


1. You were involved with modern hospices from the beginning, what was so different about the total pain approach?

2.  It's just been announced that the Liverpool Care Pathway will be withdrawn. What is important in the assessment and treatment of pain and symptoms at the end of life?

3.  Do drugs have a role to play in alleviating psycho-social pain?

4. What brought you to the Palliative Care Drugs Formulary and what are the challenges to equitable palliative care globally?


The 'charming Dr Twycross' is a retired palliative physician. He worked with Cicely Saunders at St Christopher's in the early 1970s when hospice and palliative care was in its formative years.

Robert was the Director of the World Health Organization's Collaborating Centre for Palliative Care from 1988–2005, which involved extensive travel and teaching around the world. He also served for 25 years at Sir Michael Sobell House in Oxford, from 1976–2001, first as the NHS Medical Director and later as Clinical Reader in Palliative Medicine, Oxford University, and Consultant Physician. Robert retired from Oxford University and the NHS in 2001.

In 2000, along with Dr Andrew Wilcock, Robert founded palliativedrugs.com Ltd, to provide "essential independent information for health professionals worldwide about drugs used in palliative and hospice care." The website www.palliativedrugs.com, provides information from the Palliative Care Formulary