Dr Jason Boland

Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Palliative Medicine

I am a senior clinical lecturer and honorary consultant in palliative medicine at Hull York Medical School, with my clinical work in north east Lincolnshire, working with the hospice, hospital and community teams. At HYMS I have both research and education roles.

Jason Boland is a senior clinical lecturer and honorary consultant in palliative medicine at Hull & York Medical School and North East Lincolnshire. He qualified in medicine from the University of Cambridge in 1999, with an MA in neuroscience. He completed his higher specialist training in palliative medicine in Sheffield, where for his PhD he performed a systematic analysis of the in vitro effect of opioids on adaptive and innate immune function. He is collaborating on a European trial to evaluate the effect of opioids on immune and endocrine function in opioid naive patients randomised to receive weak or strong opioids.

His interests include understanding the molecular actions of opioids and how to maximise their efficacy while minimising toxicity as well as development and improvement of the delivery of palliative care. He is currently researching the effect of opioids on immune, endocrine, gastrointestinal and cognitive function, and is also involved in non-malignant lung disease research. He lectures nationally and internationally on these topics. He is on the sub-committee of an international pharmacovigilance audit which is assessing the benefits and toxicity of Haloperidol for Nausea. He is developing palliative care research in NE Lincolnshire where he is currently the PI on 2 portfolio studies.

He is the elected Chair of the Science Committee of the Association for Palliative Medicine (UK and Ireland) as well as being on their Executive Committee. He is on the organising committee for the palliative care congress and Association for Palliative Medicine conference; and leads on organising their research study days. He is an NIHR Dissemination Centre panel of expert commentator. He is on the gastrointestinal subgroup and Early Stage and Acute Toxicities Subgroup of the NCRI Supportive & Palliative Care CSG, and on the Steering Group for NIHR Themed Review on End of Life Care. He is an associate editor for BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care and is on the editorial board for the journal Palliative Medicine and for the Palliative Care Formulary. He is the editor for a evidence update blog for the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care Journal http://blogs.bmj.com/spcare/category/short-cuts/

He regularly delivers undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, including SSCs/SSIPs, and is involved in reviewing and reshaping the palliative medicine curriculum in HYMS. He is the academic lead for palliative medicine and the cancer block lead. He recently won the Postgraduates' Choice Award for the University of Hull’s Student-Led Teaching Awards: http://hullstudent.com/news/article/student-led-teaching-awards-winners and was a finalist in the HYMS 2016 phase2/3 awards.

Primary supervisor for UoH PhD student - assessing prescribing in patients with dementia in nursing homes.

Secondary supervisor for UoH PhD student - assessing apathy in Huntington’s disease.

Primary supervisor for UoH research MD student developing a tool for the diagnosis of cluster headaches

Thesis advisory panel Chair for 1 PhD student, 1 MSc student and TAP member for another PhD student


I have set up and am developing NE Lincolnshire as a palliative medicine research site:



  • I've been awarded £22,482 a year over the past 2 years by the NIHR clinical research network for a research nurse

  • PI for Improving Rehabilitation in Palliative care using Goal attainment Scaling (GAS)  - portfolio study

  • PI for Improving the Management of pain from advanced cancer in the Community (IMPACCT) - portfolio study

  • PI for The Prognosis in Palliative care Study (PiPS2) - portfolio study

  • PI for Self-Management of Analgesia and Related Treatments at the End of life portfolio study (pilot site)

  • PI for carers needs study - portfolio study

  • PI on CRN portfolio study to assess the impact of opioid induced constipation on patients - portfolio study


In Hull, I am PI for The Palliative Radiotherapy And Inflammation Study (PRAIS)  and Validation of a palliative needs assessment tool in ILD (NA-ILD) study - portfolio studies.


I am currently collaborating with Prof Fallon in Edinburgh, who is leading on a study assessing the immune and endocrine function in patients with cancer commencing opioids.

I am collaborating with Prof Johnson and colleagues in London and Manchester to develop a tool to assess needs in patients with interstitial lung disease. CRUK Marie Curie £117,462.

CI on a qualitative study to explore palliative care nurses perceptions of the multiprofessional education of medical students.

CI on a qualitative study using reflective essays to explore medical students perceptions of palliative care patients.

Developing translational immunology studies to assess the pre-clinical impact of early palliative care in NSCLC.

NIHR Comprehensive Clinical Research Network research Clinical Lead for NE Lincolnshire Community.

I have been awarded £19,958 by Macmillan via Hull Churches Home from Hospital Service to evaluate and develop a training and support package for their Families together project

I am the CI on 2 qualitative education projects, including an international one exploring palliative care nurses perceptions of the multiprofessional education of medical students.


Co-applicant for successful Wolfson palliative care centre bid, £500,000 - 2016

Fearnley R, Boland JW. Communication and support from health care professionals to families, with dependent children, following the diagnosis of parental life-limiting illness: A systematic review. Palliative Medicine, in press Full Text


Reigada C, Papadopoulos A, Boland J, Yorke J, Ross J, Currow DC, Bajwah S, Grande G, Wells A, Johnson MJ. Implementation of the Needs Assessment Tool for Interstitial Lung Disease Patients (NAT:ILD): Facilitators and Barriers. Thorax 2017 in press


 Boland JW, Dikomitis L, Gadoud A. Medical students writing on death, dying and palliative care: A qualitative analysis of reflective essays. BMJ SPC. 2016 Dec;6(4):486-492


Boland JW, Pockley AG. Clinically relevant concentrations of opioids for in vitro studies. Journal of Opioid Management. 2016;12(5):313-321


Obita GP, Boland EG, Currow DC, Johnson MJ, Boland JW. Somatostatin analogues compared to placebo and other pharmacological agents in the management of symptoms of inoperable malignant bowel obstruction: a systematic review. JPSM. 2016;52(6):901-919 




Boland JW, Bennett MI. Opioids do not influence metastasis in experimental animal cancer models. Pain 2016;157(5):1173


Facey C, Brooks D, Boland JW. Assessment of the appropriateness of naloxone administration to patients receiving long-term opioid therapy. Hospital Practice 2016;44(2):86-91 Full text 


Boland JW, Reigada C, Yorke J, Hart SP, Bajwah S, Ross J, Wells A, Papadopoulos A, Currow D, Grande G, Macleod U, Johnson M. The adaptation, face and content validation of a Needs Assessment Tool: Progressive Disease for people with interstitial lung disease (NAT:PD-ILD). Journal of Palliative Medicine 2016 (5):549-55. Full text 



Boland JW, Ziegler L, Boland EG, McDermid K, Bennett MI. Is regular systemic opioid analgesia associated with shorter survival in adult patients with cancer? A systematic literature review. Pain 2015 Nov;156(11):2152-63. Full
text


Ahmedzai SH, Boland JW. Constipation: opioid antagonists in people prescribed opioids. BMJ Clin Evid 2015. Full text


Sloot S, Boland J, Ezaydi Y, Gethin A, Green T, Chopra L, Engels Y, Verhagen S, Vissers K, Snowden J, Ahmedzai SH. Side effects of analgesia may significantly reduce quality of life in symptomatic multiple myeloma: a cross-sectional pilot study. Supportive Care in Cancer 2015 Mar;23(3):671-8. Full text


Boland JW, McWilliams K, Ahmedzai SH, Pockley AG. Effects of opioids on immunological parameters that are relevant to anti-tumour immune potential in patients with cancer: a systematic literature review. British Journal of Cancer 2014 Aug;111(5):866-73. Full text


Boland JW, Currow D, Wilcock A, Tieman J, Hussain J, Pitsillides C, Abernethy A, Johnson M. A systematic review of strategies used to increase recruitment of people with cancer or organ failure into clinical trials: implications for palliative care research. JPSM 2014. 49 (4), 762-772. Full text


Boland JW, Foulds G, Ahmedzai SH, Pockley AG. A systematic analysis of the in vitro effects of opioids on innate and adaptive immune function. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014 Dec;4(4):357-67. Full text


Kyeremateng S, Boland JW. Aprepitant for the Management of Refractory Emesis in a Patient with a Small Bowel Carcinoid Tumor. Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy 2014 Jun;28(2):135-7. Full text


Boland EG, Boland JW, Ezaydi Y, Greenfield DM, Ahmedzai SH, Snowden JA. Holistic needs assessment in advanced, intensively-treated multiple myeloma patients. Supportive Care in Cancer 2014 Oct;22(10):2615-20. Full text


Taubert M, Watts G, Boland J, Radbruch, L. Palliative Social Media. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014; 4(1):13-18. Full text


Boland J , Owen J, Ainscough A, Mahdi H. Developing a Service for Patients with Very Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) within resources. BMJ SPC 2014;4:196-201. Full text


Boland J , Rennick A. Unusual aetiology of malignant spinal cord compression. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013;3:200–202.


Boland J , Boland E, Brooks D. Importance of the correct diagnosis of opioid-induced respiratory depression in adult cancer patients and titration of naloxone. Clinical Medicine 2013, Vol 13, No 2: 149–51.


Boland J , Johnson M. Non-malignant editorial: End of life care for non-cancer patients. BMJ SPC 2013;3:2–3.


Boland J , Brooks D. Topical application of a beclometasone aerosol inhaler for the treatment of peristomal inflammation; a case report.2012 Palliative Medicine 26 (8) 1055-1056


Boland J , Cachia E, Portenoy RK, Ahmedzai SH. Pain in respiratory disease - mechanisms and management. In supportive Care in Respiratory Disease, Second Edition. Edited by Sam H. Ahmedzai, David R. Baldwin, and David C. Currow. OUP 2012.


Cachia E, Boland J, Ahmedzai SH. Pain assessment in respiratory disease. In supportive Care in Respiratory Disease, Second Edition. Edited by Sam H. Ahmedzai, David R. Baldwin, and David C. Currow. OUP 2012.


Boland J . How to write an effective application for a research grant. European Journal of Palliative Care, 2010; 17(4), 194-6


Ahmedzai SH, Boland J. Constipation in people prescribed opioids. BMJ Clinical Evidence revised and updated 2010. http://www.clinicalevidence.com/ceweb/conditions/bly/2407/2407.jsp .


Boland J , Ahmedzai SH. A novel targeted therapy for opioid-induced bowel dysfunction: methylnaltrexone. European Journal of Palliative Care 2008; Suppl Dec.


Ahmedzai SH, Boland J. Constipation in people prescribed opioids. BMJ Clinical Evidence 2007. http://www.clinicalevidence.bmj.com/x/systematic-review/2407/archive/06/2007.html


Ahmedzai SH, Boland J. Opioids for chronic pain: molecular and genomic basis of actions and adverse effects Curr Opin Support Palliat Care 2007, 1:117–125


Ahmedzai SH, Boland J. The total challenge of cancer pain in supportive and palliative care. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care 2007, 1:3–5

BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care evidence updates (shortcuts):



  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2016;6:415-416

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2016;6:254-5

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2016;6:149-50

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2015;5:221-222

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2015;5:127-128

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2015;5:10-11

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014;4:329-330

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014;4:224-225

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014;4:128-129

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014;4:11-12

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013;3:381-382

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013;3:296-297

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013;3:141-143

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013;3:34-36

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2012;2-310-1

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2012;2-216-7

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2012;2:101-102

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2012;2:15–16

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2011;1:290

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2011;1:134

  • BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2011;1:12


  1. Membership

    1. Board of Studies

    2. Phase II & III Curriculum Management Group



  2. Academic lead for palliative care:

    1. Attained new HEE funding for increased delivery of specialist palliative care  across HYMS

    2. After completing a full mapping process of palliative care undergraduate teaching in HYMS we have developed general palliative care as a parallel theme across all medical and surgical attachments.

    3. Developing learning objectives for this theme

    4. Developing a specialist palliative care attachment across HYMS

    5. Curriculum review and implementation for general and specialist palliative care



  3. Cancer block lead:

    1. Coordination of block, including exam question writing

    2. Exam question selection

    3. Question writing

    4. Exam marking and moderating



  4. Undergraduate exams:

    1. Block 17 Exam question writing and reviewing - MCQs, MEQs and EMQs.

    2. Writing e-learning exam questions

    3. Phase 1, 2 and 3 Standard setting

    4. Phase 1, 2 and 3 exam marking

    5. Phase  1, 2 and 3  examination paper reviews

    6. Phase 1, 2 and 3 Board of Examiners meeting



  5. Communication masterclasses:

    1. Delivered and led phase II and III communication masterclasses

    2. Built up a base of tutors on the south bank, now developing other areas



  6. Undergraduate lectures:

    1. Plenary lectures, phase 1 block 13 – palliative care service provision

    2. Plenary lectures, phase 2 - Pain PPT

    3. Phase 1 spiritual issues in end of life care – single site interactive lecture

    4. HYMS year 4 critical appraisal revision sessions



  7. Undergraduate cancer block 17 teaching phase 2:

    1. Development of the NE Lincolnshire undergraduate palliative medicine teaching

    2. Delivery of case review sessions to the medical students

    3. Delivery of lectures to the medical students

    4. Increased students time in hospice

    5. DNACPR and breaking bad news teaching



  8. HYMS Elective student (part placement in Grimsby)

  9. Mentor for 8 phase 2 students.

  10. SSC/SSIP:

    1. Developed and delivered a phase 1 SSC to introduce students to palliative medicine and its principals

    2. Developed and led on a phase 2 SSC in Grimsby (4 students, 3 times a year) to further students clinical understanding of palliative medicine

    3. Setup, led, developed and delivered a phase 1 palliative medicine SSIP

    4. Setup, led, developed and delivered a phase 2 palliative medicine SSIP



  11. Non-HYMS:

    1. Deliver metabolic derangement and clinical scenarios in cachexia lectures on post-graduate MSc

    2. Question writing and marking for MSc in nutrition exam

    3. Palliative care lectures to MSc in Translational Oncology

    4. Question writing for MSc in Translational Oncology exam



Invited oral presentations (national/international)

The International Narcotics Research Conference, 2016 - Opioids, the immune system and cancer

Royal college of physicians end of life study day, 2016 - Symptom control, RTS and dyspnoea

Palliative Care Congress, 2016 - Masterclass: Delirium in palliative care

Royal college of physicians study day, 2016 – Delirium and agitation 

Association of palliative medicine national juniors conference, 2016 - key note speaker: the future of palliative medicine- 

Guildford advanced pain and symptom control course, Guildford and Manchester 2016 - opioids: silent killers? 

The Royal Society of Medicine Conference, palliative care section, London 2015 - key note speaker - research in palliative care 

Current Issues in Palliative Care, London 2015 conference - palliative care in lung disease 

Guildford advanced pain and symptom control course, Guildford and Manchester 2015 - is morphine still the gold standard analgesic 

Association of palliative medicine science committee research course, Scarborough 2014. Research in palliative medicine and critical appraisal. 

Palliative Care Congress, Harrogate 2014. Postgraduate research in palliative medicine. 

Palliative Care Congress, Harrogate 2014. Translational research in palliative care. 

Guildford advanced pain and symptom control course, Guildford and Manchester 2013. Opioid pharmacology - opioid effects on immune - and endocrine systems. 

International Conference on Opioids, Harvard University, Boston, MA 2013. Evaluation of the Immunological Properties of Therapeutic Opioids 

Association of palliative medicine science committee research course, Scarborough 2013. Research in palliative medicine and critical appraisal. 

British Columbia cancer agency Annual Conference, Vancouver - 2012. Effects of opioids on immunity. 

Strathcarron hospice conference - 2012. Evidence base for the management of constipation. 

Association of palliative medicine science committee research course, Bristol 2011. Research in Palliative medicine 

6th Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians 2009. The Immunomodulatory Effects of Opioids 

6th Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians 2009. Opioid-Induced Bowel Dysfunction 

Oncology Masterclass, Oxford 2009. Supportive Care in Breast Cancer 

Palliative Care Congress Plenary Lecture, Glasgow 2008. Effect of endogenous and prescribed opioids on the gastrointestinal tract 





Other Oral Presentations (national /international)

European Association of Palliative Care World conference 2016 - Medical Students Writing on Death, Dying and Palliative Care: A Qualitative Analysis of Reflective Essays

Palliative Care Congress, 2016 - Somatostatin analogues compared to placebo and other pharmacological agents in the management of symptoms of inoperable malignant bowel obstruction: a systematic review

European Association of Palliative Care conference, Prague 2013. Research into practice within resources: - development of an integrated palliative care service for people chronic obstructive pulmonary disease



Palliative Care Congress, Newcastle 2012:

Effects of opioids on cellular immunity: implications for palliative care

Effect of opioids on the phagocytic capacity of neutrophils and monocytes: A systematic in vitro analysis

Association of palliative medicine conference, Dublin 2011. The in vitro effect of opioids on adaptive and innate immunity



National/international Committee membership


NIHR Dissemination Centre panel of expert commentators

Early Stage and Acute Toxicities Subgroup of the NCRI Supportive & Palliative Care CSG - from 2016

Chair of the APM science committee - from 2014 

APM executive committee - from 2014 

Steering Group for NIHR Themed Review on End of Life Care 2015. 

Organising committee and lead for abstract review for the 2016-Palliative Care Congress 

NCRI Subgroup on Gastrointestinal effects since 2013 

Sub-committee of an international pharmacovigilance audit which is assessing the benefits and toxicity of Haloperidol for Nausea since 2013 

Chair of the education sub-committee of the Specialist Palliative Care Clinical Expert Group since 2013 

Co-chair of the European Association of Palliative Care junior research forum since 2011 

Chair of subgroup for Royal college of physicians palliative medicine speciality exam question reviewing committee since 2011 

Royal college of physicians, palliative medicine speciality exam question writing committee since 2010 

Elected member of the Association of Palliative Medicine science committee since 2009 

I am also a member of several local and regional committees.





Invited Chairing: -

Chaired 3 sessions at the 2016 Palliative Care Congress - 2016

Current Issues in Palliative Care, London 2015 conference - 2015

Chaired 2 sessions at the 2014 Palliative Care Congress - 2014

Chaired the research session at the 2013 APM conference - 2013

Chaired a session at the 2012 Palliative Care Congress - 2012



National conference organising

APM Supportive & Palliative Care Conference - 2017

Royal college of physicians and Association for Palliative Medicine conference - 2017

Association for Palliative Medicine science committee research course - 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017

Palliative Care Congress - 2014, 2016

Association for Palliative Medicine conferences - 2011, 2013, 2015


Invited external reviewer / marking: -

Peer reviewed articles for JPSM, BMJ SPC, Palliative medicine, Br J Hospital medicine, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, and- Cochrane

Palliative Care Congress-2016 - Abstract selection committee (and conference lead on abstract review)

Marked posters at the- Palliative Care Congress-2016

EAPC 2015 Abstract selection committee

Palliative Care Congress 2014 - Abstract selection committee

Final review meeting of abstracts for the scientific program of the 2014 Palliative Care Congress - 2014

Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care guidelines reviewer 2014

Evaluation of abstracts for the scientific program of the 2014 Palliative Care Congress - 2013

Evaluation of abstracts for the scientific program of the 13th European Association of Palliative Care Congress - 2012

Marked Twycross and NAPP prizes for the Association of Palliative Medicine - 2010-present

Marked Association of Palliative Medicine undergraduate essay prize - 2012 and 2015

Marked posters at the 2012 Strathcarron conference

Marked oral presentations at the 2012 Strathcarron conference



Editorial boards: -

Associate editor for the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2014 - present

Palliative care formulary editorial board 2014 - present

Editorial board for the journal Palliative Medicine 2012 - present

Editorial board for the Association of Palliative Medicine news 2011 - present

Editorial board for the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2013 -present

Professor Pål Klepstad, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway The Palliative Radiotherapy And Inflammation Study – PRAIS

Professor Fallon, University of Edinburgh: effect of opioids on immune and endocrine function

Professor Bennett, University of Leeds: 1) SMARTE study; 2) effect of opioids on survival.

Professor Ahmedzai, University of Sheffield: translational immunological studies to assess the pre-clinical impact of early palliative care in NSCLC

Professor Johnson (Hull) and Prof Wells and Dr’s Ross and Bajwah in London and Prof’s Grande and Yorke in Manchester to develop a tool to assess needs in patients with interstitial lung disease

Dr Rachel Fearnley, Independent Researcher: 1) Hull Churches Home from Hospital Service Families Together Project; 2) Communication and support from health care professionals to families, with dependent children, following the diagnosis of parental life-limiting illness: A systematic review.

Professor Currow,Flinders University:  1) Somatostatin analogues compared to placebo and other pharmacological agents in the management of symptoms of inoperable malignant bowel obstruction: a systematic review; 2) effect of opioids, benzodiazepines and anti-cholinergic load on clinical outcomes in patients receiving palliative care 

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