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What's New in the Community

This section will keep you up to date with news and events in the palliative care community. Please note that links below were current at time of posting, however links may become obsolete as websites update content.

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Patient experiences in Australia: Summary of findings, 2013–14
This publication presents information from the 2013–14 Patient Experience Survey. It contains summary data on access and barriers to a range of health care services, including general practitioners, medical specialists, dental professionals, imaging and pathology tests, hospital admissions and emergency department visits.

Grief and Bereavement Education 2015
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement 2015 schedule of courses, workshops and training opportunities for health professionals, students, volunteers and any other individual or agency is now available.

NHMRC Council and Principal Committees 2015-2018 triennium
NHMRC and the Department of Health are calling for expressions of interest for appointment to NHMRC Council and Principal Committees for the 2015-2018 triennium. Applications close 12 December.

Support for AllTrials campaign
NHMRC has released a statement in support of the principles behind the AllTrials campaign, which calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their results reported, to reduce research duplication and legitimise trial results.

Review of the Palliative Care Standards
Palliative Care Australia have provided a communique on the review of the Standards for providing quality palliative care for all. 

Australia Researcher named 2015 AAHPM award winner
Professor David Currow is the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine 2015 joint recipient of the Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care Award. The AAHPM Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care recognizes meaningful, exemplary research contributions to the field of hospice and palliative care.
ANZICS Issues Statement on Care and Decision Making at the End-of-Life
Produced by a dedicated ANZICS Working Group, the Statement is intended to provide a framework for best practice in respect of critically ill patients at the end of life in Australia and New Zealand and provide strong support to intensive care staff involved in the care of these patients and their families.

NHMRC Clinical Trials Initative
NHMRC, the Department of Health and the Department of Industry are undertaking work to improve the clinical trials environment in Australia. Details on theis work is available on the NHMRC website.

National Institute for Dementia Research
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has opened an Expression-of-Interest (EOI) process for organisations interested in providing services to establish the institute.

Clinical Audit for GPs (147kb pdf)
This audit, part of the Decision Assist Program, is an opportunity for GPs to review their approach to managing the care of older Australians with advanced chronic conditions living in the community.

Cultural ways - web resource (HealthInfoNet 2014).
The Indigenous cultural ways web resource - for people working, studying or interested in the health and cultural ways of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Decision Assist Launched
Decision Assist was officially launched in Canberra on Tuesday 28 October 2014. The innovative new program, funded by the Australian Government's Department of Health, delivers a range of education, training and support services to assist GPs and aged care staff to improve the quality of advance care planning and palliative care services provided to older Australians. Global Year against Neuropathic Pain
IASP has launched the 2014-2015 Global Year against Neuropathic Pain.Neuropathic pain is pain that arises as a direct consequence of a lesion or diseases affecting the somatosensory system.

The International Journal of Palliative Nursing Awards 2015
The International Journal of Palliative Nursing Awards in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support, are now open for nominations! The awards celebrate achievement and excellence in the work of palliative care nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary palliative care team. The event will take place in a central London location on 26 February 2015, and will include the awards ceremony and a gala dinner.
Deadline to nominate is November 14.

Survey to assess the impact of the Prague Charter: Palliative Care – a human right
The European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) and its partner organisations launched the petition in December 2012 on Avaaz org. The Prague Charter has been translated into 23 languages and been widely disseminated to national and international health and palliative care associations. This survey asks about the use of advocacy in different organization and countries. Filling out the survey´s short questionnaire, which takes only about 5 - 10 minutes, will help to raise awareness, of the lack for access of palliative care across the world.
The survey closes on October 31st, 2014.

The Standard
The August-September edition of The Standard (National Standards Assessment Program) is now available.

Palliative Care in Long-term Care Settings for Older People: findings from a European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Taskforce
A significant proportion of older people (defined as those aged 65 and over) die in long-term care settings – approximately 20% in the UK and 15% in Austria. The aim of the EAPC Task Force was to identify and map the different ways of developing palliative care in long-term care settings across Europe. This paper summarizes the work of the Taskforce, its methods and some of its key findings.

Literature Review and Needs and Feasibility Assessment of Services for People with Younger Onset Dementia 
A project has been undertaken by the Centre for Health Service Development (University of Wollongong) for the Australian Government on Younger Onset Dementia.  The project included an international literature review, and also a national consultation process.

Montreal Declaration on Hospice Palliative Care
At the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal this month, a coalition of international palliative care organisations invited delegates and others to support the Montreal Declaration for the inclusion of palliative care in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

PCA Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Health (539kb pdf)
PCA has made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Health as the submission raises a number of issues for palliative care related to the Inquiry.

Grattan Institute report: Dying Well (957kb pdf)
A new report released by the Grattan Institute addresses issues with dying in Australia. It states that dying in Australia is more institutionalised than in other countries, with only about 14% of people dying at home, despite approximately 70% of people indicating a wish to do so. About half of people die in hospital and a third in residential care. Read the report in full on the Grattan Institute’s website

Update from the Department of Social Services
The Department of Social Services has identified an opportunity to enhance the way it presents information to aged care stakeholders. The Guide to Aged Care Law (the Guide) has now been released. The Guide will provide information relating to: residential care, home care, flexible care and residential respite care.

NEW NSAP Resource
NSAP has recently launched a new resource series called 'Key learnings to share with the sector.' 
These include hints and tips, and ideas for improvement strategies and improvement measures. Topics are identified from the Palliative Care Standards and common improvement areas identified by specialist palliative care services. The first resources launched are from the NSAP CQI Collaborative projects: Assessment and Care Planning and Support for Carers.

Consumer Health Forum of Australia
Urgent expressions of interest required.
The CHF is seeking consumer representatives interested in being considered for nomination to the Delirium Topic Working Group. The workload entails at least four full day meetings in Sydney. The first two meetings will be held on 31 October and early December 2014 and the following two meetings are expected to take place in March and August 2015. Interested parties should complete a CHF nomination form available online or by contacting Ghislaine Alventoza on 02 6273 5444

The third report in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) series, Palliative Care Services in Australia 2014, indicates that more patients who die in hospital receive palliative care.

Planning Ahead Website
The South Australian government has launched a new website that advises people on how to record their wishes about their future health care, medical treatment, finance and property needs.

Understanding Dementia
The University of Tasmania’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a 9 week online course that builds upon the latest in international research on dementia. It is free and anyone can register. The course starts on 13 October 2014. For further information or to register visit

Forthcoming special issue on integrated care for people with palliative care needs
The journal, Palliative Medicine, has issued a call for papers for a forthcoming special issue on integrated care for people with palliative care needs.Guest editors are Jeroen Hasselaar and Sheila Payne

End of Life Decisions, the Law and Clinical Practice
This website provides information for health professionals as to who legally in NSW can make end of life decisions and advice on how they should be made.

Consultation on standard clinical trial items
As part of ongoing work to improve the clinical trials environment in Australia, the NHMRC is seeking comment on a revised List of standard clinical trial items developed following stakeholder consultation. Comments are requested by close of business 31 October 2014.

Palliative Care Phone Advisory Service
Decision Assist is pleased to announce that the 24/7 national Palliative Care Phone Advisory Service is now available to assist GPs and health professionals working with older Australians. Call 1300 668 908 for the cost of a local call to receive specialist advice on all your patient or client palliative care needs. The phone service can also help with advance care planning information from 8am until 8pm. Call 1300 668 908 today!

Decision Assist Project Grants
Applications are being sought from eligible organisations for enabling grants to support projects that involve supporting the implementation of linkage strategies that have the potential to improve the quality of end-of-life care for older people in residential and community aged care settings.

Dementia Research Team Grants
The NHMRC Dementia Research Team Grants Scheme is part of the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative. Dementia Research Team Grants will provide support for teams of researchers over five years to pursue collaborative research, promote effective translation of research, and develop capacity under a dementia research priority framework. Applications close 8 October 2014.

Standards Review Consultation Paper
PCA has released the draft Standards for Providing Quality Palliative Care for All Australians, 5th edition, for public consultation. Feedback is invited until 26 September 2014.

Palliative Care Getting Started
The Centre of Palliative Care has released a free  palliative care online training module for all health professionals. Visit the website for more details.

PCOC Tools update
Translated versions of the symptom assessment scale (SAS) form and explanatory brochure and a downloadable version of the new PCOC Clinical Manual can be found on the PCOC website.

Decision Aids for Advance Care Planning
A technical brief from AHRQ on the state of practice and current research on decision aids for adult ACP notes that there are nurmerous decison aids available. The report also highlights the need for more research on their effectiveness and on the effectiveness of different formats and options. 

ANZSPM Position Statement on timely referral for patients with progressive solid tumours
ANZSPM, as the Australasian peak body for Palliative Medicine, states that patients with evidence of tumour progression following failure of conventional cancer treatments should be referred in a timely manner to Specialist Palliative Care services.

Palliative Care Fast Facts for iOS
Palliative Fast Facts for iOS is a mobile version of the Fast Facts database. It is available by free download.

Palliative care for chronic and end stage kidney disease (789kb pdf)
PCA and Kidney Health Australia have released a joint statement on palliative care for chronic and end stage kidney disease.

New PCC4U resources
An updated and expanded suite of PCC4U resources is now available at The resources include a new culture-centred care focus topic and updated video vignettes.

Justice and Priority Setting in Health Care
Contemporary health care systems face many challenges.How can we reconcile the principle of justice and equity for all, with  the assignment of providing good quality care, and the principle of economic sustainability? This intensive course analyses these key issues from the perspective of applied ethical questions.

Radiation oncology areas of need: cancer incidence projections 2014-2024
This report presents cancer incidence projections at the jurisdictional health planning region level for 2014 to 2024. These projections were developed specifically for Australian Government Department of Health planning purposes.

Australia’s Health 2014
This AIHW report looks at the health of Australians and their health system. It shows that Australia’s health system is facing sharply rising costs and a growing number of demands.

Bereavement Practice in Palliative care
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement's Autumn 2014 newsletter looks at resilience and risk in bereavement care.

Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants
These grants are designed to better support activities that strengthen the capacity of the aged care sector, to promote healthy and active ageing, to better respond to existing and emerging challenges including dementia care and to better support services targeting people from diverse backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

World Health Assembly progress on noncommunicable diseases and traditional medicine
A resolution  passed unanimously at the 67th session of the World Health Assembly in May 2014 will encourage all member states to take a greater interest in palliative care. The resolution calls on all member states to:
  • Develop, strengthen and implement palliative care policies
  • Support palliative care initiatives including education and training, quality improvement and availability of medicines essential for the provision of palliative care
  • Provide support to caregivers
  • Include palliative care as a part of integrated training for all healthcare workers who routinely work with people with serious illness
  • Ensure access to essential medications
  • Foster partnerships between government and civil society to increase access to palliative care
Carers have vital role supporting patient's choice in where to die
Australia’s family and friend carers are crucial to supporting the preference to die at home, but need access to palliative care services which work with carers and understand the demands of end-of-life care. Carers Australia has released a discussion paper, ‘Dying at home: Preferences and the role of unpaid carers’. It  discusses the role of carers in providing end‑of‑life care in the home, and identifies the types of support they need.

World Health Statistics 2014
This global rpeort contains WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its member states. It also includes highlight summaries  on recent trends in both life expectancy and premature deaths; and on the crucial role of civil registration and vital statistics systems in national and global advancement.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) Review
A review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) examined issues with the existing system including: complexity, expectations and governance, recommending changes to increase use and bring forward the delivery of benefits and savings.

Sector Newsletters May 2014 PaCCSC Research Report 2006-2014.
The report details the eight year journey of PaCCSC from inception in 2006 through to current activities in 2014. Information on the clinical research studies, results and achievements of the Collaborative are all contained in the report.

Specialist Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Survey
The Specialist Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning survey for the aged care sector is now ‘live’. GPs, aged care professionals and specialist palliative care service providers around Australia are encouraged to participate in the online survey before it closes at midnight on 23 May 2014. For more information, contact Palliative Care Australia on 02 62324433.
Posted by admin 13 May 2014 

Draft Information Paper on homeopathy
The purpose of public consultation is to ensure that that the relevant evidence has been identified and appropriately considered in the development of the draft Paper. NHMRC is also seeking feedback about whether the draft Paper is presented in a manner that can be understood by the Australian community. Feedback closes on 26 May 2014.

PCC4U Seminar Series Building our workforce: a palliative care curriculum for the future
The PCC4U project team invites people with an interest in palliative care education to participate in a seminar to explore directions and strategies to prepare health professionals capable of providing quality palliative care. 

Death, Dying, Grieving and Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness – A Cultural Perspective
The Australian Multicultural Foundation is hosting this one day national conference on Thursday 19 June in the State Library of Victoria.

Advance care planning; have the conversation
This Victorian Department of Health strategy for  2014-2018 provides direction to Victorian health services to develop, review and activate advance care plans across and beyond their organisations.

ANZSPM Position Statement on Quality End of Life Care
The Australian and New Zealand Society for Palliative Medicine has developed a position statement on Quality End-of-Life Care.This position statement is the first in a series of two documents, designed to guide and encourage clinicians, health planners and agencies that set and monitor standards for safety and quality pertaining to the provision of Quality End-of-Life Care (EoL Care) for patients, families, loved ones and carers. These statements will help guide clinicians who are managing issues associated with their patients’ last 6-12 months of life.

End of life care at home
District Nurses will deliver 2,000 community-based packages of palliative care through Hospice @ Home in Tasmania. The programme is the first of its type to deliver comprehensive round the clock home-based palliative care across an entire state.

Victorian Aboriginal Palliative Care Collaborative – Project Grants
 The Victorian Aboriginal Palliative Care Collaborative (VAPCC) is funded by the Department of Health, Palliative Care Division.  It is calling for applications now from interested parties for a range of small to medium project grants for Victoria.Funding is available for a range of small to medium project grants in Victoria.  Project applications of $25,000 to $100,000 (maximum) will be considered. Projects are up to 12 months duration and must finish by 30 June 2015.  Applications close on 30 April 2014  For more details and application from the Centre for Palliative Care website:

Graduate Certificate in Bereavement Counselling and Intervention
Applications for this part time course designed to provide current and appropriate training and education in applied competencies and theoretical frameworks deemed essential for the provision of effective bereavement counselling are now open.  Applications for the July 2014 intake close 5pm, Friday, 30th May 2014.

2nd Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium 
Applications are now open for the 2nd Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium and the PCRNV Early Career Researcher Breakfast Forum: Building a career in research.  The events will be held on Thursday, 7th and Friday, 8th August 2014  in Melbourne.

Investigating the symptoms of lung cancer - a Qstream course for GPs
A free online course for health professionals that covers the investigation and diagnosis of lung cancer signs and symptoms, the other covers breast cancer primary care across the cancer continuum. The course has been developed by Cancer Australia with a multidisciplinary group of cancer experts and is accredited by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Consultation on the Draft Statement on End-of-Life Care in Acute Hospitals
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is seeking feedback on its draft National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care in acute hospitals(the Consensus Statement). Interested parties are invited to provide feedback by 31 March through completing a brief survey or by making a detailed written submission. 2014 Dementia Grants Program
Over $2.6 million worth of grants will be made availalble through the Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation in two grant rounds during 2014. The first grant round is now open and will close on 4 April.

This website will help people with dementia to plan ahead for your future. It is a practical and comprehensive resource for people across Australia and provides information needed to make decisions and  put them into action

ANZSPM Position Statement on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine has adopted a position statement on the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Measuring Up 2013
This report analyses the publication output of NHMRC health and medical research funding.  The results show that NHMRC-supported research significantly outperformed other comparable Australian research over the five-year study period (2005-2009).

NHMRC Grant Announcement
Outcomes for the following NHMRC grant schemes were released on 18 February 2014: Development Grants, Partnerships for Better Health - Partnership Projects, Program Grants, Postgraduate Scholarships and Targeted Call - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.There are several successful grants relating to decision making.

SA Advance Care Directives DIY Kit
From 1 July 2014 South Australians will be able to use the new Advance Care Directive Form in the kit to write down how they would like others to make decisions for them if there comes a time when they are unable to make these decisions themselves. A draft DIY kit and feedback form is availble for comments.

Review and Evaluation of the National Pain Strategy
Painaustralia is seeking participation in a review and evaluation of progress being made to implement the National Pain Strategy and provide evidence-based care to patients with severe pain conditions.

Cancer Australia’s framework of research priorities
Cancer Australia and its 2014 Funding Partners invite applications for Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Grants to commence in 2015. Applications close 5 March 2014. One of the priority areas is Patient support, Survivorship or End-of-Life care Cancer Control, Survivorship & Outcomes:
  • Patient Care, Survivorship Issues, or End-of-Life Care including Complementary and Alternative Approaches
  • Cost Analyses, Health Care Delivery and Surveillance
  • Behaviour, Education and Communication

Medical Workforce 2012
The supply of employed medical practitioners in Australia increased from 323.2 to 355.6 full-time equivalent practitioners per 100,000 population between 2008 and 2012, which reflected a 16.4% rise in employed practitioner numbers. Women made up 37.9% of practitioners in 2012 compared with 34.9% in 2008.

Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme
Scholarship applications to undertake continuing professional education activities and short courses will open 3 March 2014.

2014-15 Pre-Budget Submission
Palliative Care Australia has released a pre budget submission outlining ten areas of palliatiive care needs.

Global Atlas of Palliative Care
The World Health Organization and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance have published publish Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the end of lifeThis resource attempts to quantify the need for and availability of palliative care worldwide.

Free palliative care workshops in Tasmania
People living in Tasmania are invited to register for the first round of face-to-face workshops to be offered across the state, starting with Hobart, Launceston and Burnie in February. The half-day sessions are designed to familiarise participants with the COMPAC guidelines and provide the tools for participants to translate the guidelines into their own settings. Delivery of the workshops will be through two streams: professional and volunteer.

Last updated 11 December 2014