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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.


Palliative care services in Australia 2016-tranche 2
A new update from AIHW provides an overview on Palliative care services in Australia in 2016 relating to:
Palliative care in residential aged care
Palliative care in general practice
Palliative care-related medications
Palliative care outcomes

Dementia Palliative Care Guidance
The complexities of providing palliative and end of life care to people with dementia is increasingly being recognised. However there is a  lack of dementia palliative care practice guidance. The Irish Hospice Foundation has developed a series of evidence based guidance for healthcare staff.

Adavance is a new training package and set of resources developed by HammondCare, with a focus on initiating palliative care and advance care planning. It's specifically designed for nurses working in general practice. General practices provide ongoing care for a large number of patients with chronic, debilitating and eventually fatal diseases and general practice nurses have a key role in patient management. This course is APNA Endorsed and free to nurses working in Australian general practice and includes training, face-to-face workshops and CPD recognition.

Human Services Reform 
The Productivity Commission's preliminary finding is that there are six priority areas where introducing greater competition, contestability and informed user choice could improve outcomes for people who use human services, and the community as a whole. Specialist palliative care is one of these areas. The report suggests that introducing greater competition, contestability and informed user choice can improve the effectiveness of human services. The community is invited to examine the preliminary findings report and make written submissions by Thursday 27 October 2016.
Causes of Death, Australia 2015
This ABS report shows that 159,052 people died in 2105. Heart disease, dementia strokes, lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease are top 5 causes. Dementia deaths are rising as the population ages. 

New service supports care for people with dementia
Nightingale Nurses is a new initiative and model of care developed by Alzheimer’s Australia SA which aims to meet the needs of people living with dementia and their families.  They also recognise the value of a palliative approach to care.

This website was designed in collaboration with Australian religious and cultural leaders and organisations. It is intended to provide informational support for health professionals conducting advance care planning with people from different religious and cultural backgrounds. 

NHMRC Grants Call
The NHMRC is inviting submissions for assessment and recognition of new centres. The specific centres being called for are:
Health Expenditure Australia 2014-2015
This AIHW report on spending on health in Australia shows that expenditure is still increasing but at slower rate than the ten year average. However, health spending reached 10% of Gross Domestic Product for the first time in this period. 

Incidence of end-stage kidney disease in Australia 1997-2013
A new AIHW report indicates in 2013, the number of new cases of ESKD in Australia was around 5,100, or around 14 cases per day (age-adjusted incidence rate of 19 cases per 100,000 population).  Incidence increases rapidly with age, with rates highest among those aged 75 and over―almost 4 times the rate as those aged 65–74 in 2013. Incidence rates were almost five times higher in Indigenous Australians. 

Causes of Death, Australia 2015
This ABS report shows that 159,052 people died in 2105. Heart disease, dementia strokes, lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease are top 5 causes. Dementia deaths are rising as the population ages. 

New service supports care for people with dementia
Nightingale Nurses is a new initiative and model of care developed by Alzheimer’s Australia SA which aims to meet the needs of people living with dementia and their families.  They also recognise the value of a palliative approach to care.

Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011 
This report provides estimates of the non-fatal and fatal burden of disease for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population; as well as estimates of the gap in disease burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The disease groups causing the most burden among Indigenous Australians in 2011 were mental and substance use disorders, injuries, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases. Indigenous Australians experienced a burden of disease that was 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. 

Guidelines for multimorbidity
A new guideline designed to optimise care by reducing treatment burden (polypharmacy and multiple appointments) and unplanned care,  aims to improve quality of life by promoting shared decisions based on what is important to each person in terms of treatments, health priorities, lifestyle and goals. 

Human Services Reform 
The Productivity Commission's preliminary finding is that there are six priority areas where introducing greater competition, contestability and informed user choice could improve outcomes for people who use human services, and the community as a whole. Specialist palliative care is one of these areas. The report suggests that introducing greater competition, contestability and informed user choice can improve the effectiveness of human services. The community is invited to examine the preliminary findings report and make written submissions by Thursday 27 October 2016.

Dementia care needs include palliative care 
The World Alzheimer Report 2016 reviews the state of healthcare for dementia around the world, and recommends ways that it can be improved. Four main themes emerged from the reviews conducted for the report; the need to systematise care processes; the challenges of managing complexity; the need for more research to inform policy and practice; and the potential for efficiency, through moderating costs while scaling up coverage of basic dementia healthcare services.  

Australia's Health 2016 
This AIHW report profiles current health issues in a collection of feature articles and statistical snapshots that cover a range of areas. Topics include health status of Australians, health expenditure, major causes of ill health, determinants of health, health through the life course, health of Indigenous Australians, preventing and treating ill health and health system performance. 

National Guidelines for Spiritual Care
Spirituality is integral to quality of life and well-being.The Guidelines provide specific and practical understanding and assistance to all care givers working in residential aged care and also those providing care and support in the community and at home.

IAHPC releases palliative care dictionary
The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) announces the re-launching of Pallipedia, a free online palliative care dictionary built under the auspices of IAHPC. This revised version of Pallipedia offers updated definitions of over 900 palliative/hospice and general health related terms.

The PCACE Project
The Palliative Care in Aged Care Evidence (PCACE) Project will develop an online evidence based guidance and knowledge resource for palliative care in aged care incorporating the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) and the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC). The new online resources is being developed by CareSearch and will be released before 30 June 2017. Project pages within the CareSearch website provide information on the progress of the project and you can sign up for the PCACE Project newsletter.

Older Australia at a glance (AIHW)
In 2016, approximately 3.7 million people (15% of Australia’s total projected population of 24.3 million) are older Australians.This AIHW report provides details on older Australians: who they are, how they are changing, how healthy they are and the services they are using.

EHC Program Update: Assessment Tools for Palliative Care Draft Report
Comments on the draft report can be made until Sept. 21, 2016 through the AHRQ website.

Medical practitioner workforce 2015
Medical workforce 2015 examines trends in demographic and employment characteristics of medical practitioners who were registered in Australia in the ten years up to 2015. The total number of registered medical practitioners increased from 67,890 in 2005 to 97,466 in 2015

Research Priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
NHMRC invites stakeholders and members of the public to submit research priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, which could form the subject of a Targeted Call for Research (TCR). Closes on Sunday, 4 September 2016, 11:59pm (AEST)

Consultation on draft paediatric Consensus Statement
Using the existing Consensus Statement as a basis, the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed a consultation draft
National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality paediatric end-of-life care. All submissions must be received by Friday 26 August 2016.

World hospice  & palliative care day
The theme for 2016 is LIVING AND DYING IN PAIN: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN. World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes place on the second Saturday of October every year and Voices for Hospices takes place on the same date every two years. This year the World Day will be celebrated on October 8th 2016.

WHO update report on the implementation of the resolution
The WHO released a report for the WHA highlighting progress in the implementation of Resolution WHA67.19: ‘Strengthening of palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course’. 

Delirium Clinical Care Standards
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed a new clinical care standard for delirium.The Delirium Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that patients with delirium at the time of presentation to hospital receive optimal treatment to reduce the duration and severity of the condition. It also aims to ensure that patients at risk of delirium during a hospital admission are identified promptly and receive preventive strategies. 

Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation
There is an opportunity to be involved in consultations and provide feedback on the Discussion Paper of the  Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation. The aim of the Discussion Paper is to stimulate discussion on both the current arrangements, and the way the community pharmacy sector should look in the future.

The role of registered nurses in residential aged care facilities
The Australian College of Nursing has released its position statement indicating that a minimum requirement should be an RN onsite in residential aged care facilities. 

RADAR - The Regional Australia Database for Ageing Research
RADAR is a national population database providing free public access to  information about Australia’s ageing population.  It uses the most recent national data from the ABS 2011 Census of Population and Housing.You can access a wide range of demographic and economic indices relevant to population and ageing research from national through to regional levels.

Residential aged care and Home Care 2014-15
The Residential aged care and Home Care 2014-15 web report is the fourth annual release of online data on residential aged care and Home Care services in Australia. It provide information on these aged care programs, as well as the people who received care through them. The web report covers the following key topics: aged care places and services, the characteristics and care needs of people in care at 30 June 2015, as well as activity measures over the financial year (admissions and separations).

Global strategy: Ageing and Health (594kb pdf)
The World Health Organization has developed a global strategy and action plan on ageing and health 2016-2020: towards a world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life.

Australian Palliative Care Conference 2017
PCA announces the Australian Palliative Care Conference will be held in Adelaide on 6-8 September 2017.

End of Life Essentials: Education Modules
These education modules are designed to assist clinical staff working in acute hospitals in delivering end-of-life care. The first three modules deal with:
  • Dying, a normal part of life
  • Patient centred communication and shared decision making
  • Recognising the end-of-life
2016 Research Australia Awards
Research Australia is calling for your nominations for the 2016 Research Australia Awards. Nominate someone who has made a difference in Australia’s health and medical research sector.

Dying to Know Day
D2KDay is held on August 8 each year. It activate conversations and curiosity, build death literacy and help grow the capacity of individuals and community groups to take action toward end of life planning. Find out more at the D2KDay website.

End of Life Law in Australia
This new website  provides accurate, practical and relevant information on the legal issues that can arise with end of life decision-making. It is an initiative of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research.

Dementia in my family
An Alzheimer’s Australia website for children with age-specific explanations

Palliative Care Network – Call for Abstracts 
The International Palliative Care Network 2016 is currently accepting abstracts for poster and lecture presentations from palliative care professionals in all disciplines of the field.  Prizes awarded to select submissions.  Participation and access is for FREE! Deadline:  July 15, 2016 - No submission fee. Submit your abstract today.

Pharmacological palliation of symptoms - Professor Sam Ahmedzai (28 June 2016, Brisbane)
Courtesy of the Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE), Professor Sam Ahmedzai from University of Sheffield will speak at Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital Education Centre Auditorium, 12-1pm, Tuesday 28 June 2016 on symptomics – the science of symptoms and their pharmacological palliation. Sam’s major research interests are:
  • biological modification and pharmacological palliation of symptoms and drug adverse effects
  • measurement of holistic needs in patients with cancer and other chronic diseases, which has led to SPARC (Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral to Care)
  • exploring the application and barriers to supportive and palliative care in cancer and other chronic diseases at European level.
Flyer and registration form (231kb pdf) (admission free; registration for catering purposes only).
E:  P: 07 3646 8197

End-of-life essentials website
The End-of-Life essentials website was released on May 17. The End-of-Life Essentials Project will design, develop and test online education modules on health care at the end of life in acute hospitals for nurses, doctors and allied health professionals. The content of the modules is to be developed from the ACSQHC National End of life Consensus statement. As well a review of evidence around implementation and translation within acute hospitals will inform an implementation toolkit to assist managers and clinicians to implement a unified approach to strategies and processes which will inform end-of-life care. The first three modules will be released on Friday 24 June 2016. You can sign up to be advised about the release of the modules. We will also keep you up to date with a monthly newsletter.

palliAGED nurse
The palliAGED nurse app was released on International Nurses Day (May 12) with a launch held simultaneously in Adelaide and Sydney. This app provides access to information for nurses to enable the delivery of high quality palliative care. The PalliAGED nurse app is free and available for download now from online App stores. This app is in addition to the palliAGEDgp app released in April 2015
My Learning 7: KT module (CRE ELC)
CareSearch, in conjunction with the Centre for Research Excellence in End of Life Care, has developed a new learning module (My Learning 7) that introduces the concepts of Knowledge Translation, illustrating it with a ‘real world’, end-of-life care scenario. The scenario shows a clinical team using a KT framework called the Knowledge-to-Action Cycle to identify a clinical problem, discover evidence, incorporate it into their processes, change practice, evaluate the results, and then work to sustain any improvements across time.

Dying2Learn MOOC
Are death and dying changing in the 21st century? CareSearch is running a free Massive Open Online Course for the general public looking at death and dying in Australia. Join the conversation by signing up for our short course Dying2Learn, which will run from June 27 to July 31 2016.

National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions: Online Public Consultation on the second draft
A National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions is being developed as the overarching policy for the prevention and management of chronic conditions in Australia. Stakeholder and community feedback on the second draft National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions is being prior to finalising the Framework. Feedback until 22 June 2016.

Australian Burden of Disease Study-impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2011
This report analyses the impact of nearly 200 diseases and injuries in terms of living with illness (non-fatal burden) and premature death (fatal burden). The study found that chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mental and substance use disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions, along with injury contributed the most burden in Australia in 2011.

Meaningful Ageing Australia
Meaningful Ageing Australia is the new name for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People (PASCOP), the organisation created in 2012 to support and develop the highest quality of pastoral and spiritual care for older people in Australia, from any background and in any care context.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online services report-key results 2014-15
This AIHW report includes information from 278 organisations across Australia providing health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Webinar: What do People with Intellectual Disability Know about Death?
Helping people with intellectual disability understand and plan for the end of life is the final time when the human right to self-determination can be exercised. This webinar will present selected findings from a study which show that adults with intellectual disability may have a limited understanding of death, and also a quite limited understanding that they can make plans for the end of life. Friday 27th at 12.30pm AEST

Chronic respiratory conditions
The Chronic respiratory conditions webpage provides high-level information on the prevalence of various chronic respiratory conditions. In 2013, there were 12,465 deaths where the underlying cause was a respiratory condition (acute or chronic ). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death in Australia and internationally, and asthma death rates in Australia are high in comparison with many other countries.

Living Well with Chronic Illness
National Palliative Care Week starts on 22 May. The theme for 2016 addresses the need for people with advanced chronic illness to be able to access palliative care. You can find more information on Living Well with Chronic Illness on the Palliative Care Australia website.

Cancer web pages update 2016
These web pages present key data, information and trends over time for 13 key cancers, all cancers combined and cancer in Indigenous Australians.

Planning dementia care through case conferencing
A new website is available to support family case conferencing for people with advanced dementia and the findings of a recent report aiming to  improve the quality and uptake of advance care planning (ACP) for people with dementia. The website provides a step-by-step guide to facilitating shared decision-making and advance care planning for people with dementia approaching the end of life who are unable to speak for themselves.  

Indigenous and tribal people's health
Australia was one of the countries participating in the Lancet-Lowitja Institute Global Collaboration which aimed to establish a clear picture of Indigenous and tribal health across 23 countries. The Collaboration also sought to identify gaps in knowledge and data.The report highlighted that outcomes are poorer for Indigenous and tribal peoples, although the level of disadvantage varies across nations.

Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is a common and serious problem that places a large burden on the Australian healthcare system. It is associated with several other chronic diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease and is a significant contributor to mortality in Australia. This page presents the latest statistics on chronic kidney disease in Australia.

Chronic disease risk factors
This AIHW analysis presents the relationship between selected chronic diseases and behavioural and biomedical risk factors. Behavioural risk factors include poor diet, tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Biomedical risk factors include overweight and obesity and high blood pressure. The analysis shows that many chronic diseases share behavioural and biomedical risk factors; and modifying these can reduce an individual's risk of developing a chronic disease and result in large health gains, by reducing illness and rates of death.

Aged Care Roadmap
The Aged Care Roadmap has been developed by the Aged Care Sector Committee to outline what is required to realise a sustainable, consumer-led aged care market, where consumers have increased choice and control of what care and support they receive, as well as where, how and when they receive it.

Mental health services in Australia/tranche 2 2016
AIHW have updated the following sections in this dataset:
  • Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services
  • Mental health workforce
  • Access to Allied Psychological Services
  • State and territory summary tables
  • Updates to the key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services
CPCRE Conference Day
Queensland Health’s Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education will hold its annual conference on Friday 6th May 2016 at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Major speakers include Professor Paul Glare, Professor of Pain Management at University of Sydney, and formerly Head, Pain and Palliative Care Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. For further information and registration:

My Health Record Update
People can now share information about their wishes for future medical treatment on My Health Record so that it can be available to health care providers at the time and place it is needed.

Australian Medical Research Advisory Board
An eight-member board will advise the Government on how funds held in the Medical Research Future Fund should be allocated. The new  Board comprises experts in medical research and innovation, health policy and commercialisation, including experience and knowledge in philanthropy, consumer issues and translating research into frontline health care services.

WA End-of-Life Framework:  A state-wide model for the provision of comprehensive, coordinated care at end-of-life
The WA Department of Health has developed an End-of-Life Framework to guide end-of-life care. It provides direction for best-practice care across a patient’s end-of-life trajectory, commencing when they are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness or their death is expected. These stages include: advancing disease, increasing decline, last days of life, death; and bereavement support for family and carers. For each of the stages, the Framework provides guidance to clinicians, including triggers for consideration and recommendations for action.

Teaching resources available to support end-of-life decision-making and communication
The Advance CPR decision-making in the hospital setting teaching package aims to help doctors and medical students have conversations with patients and families about the expected benefits and potential harms of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

National Breast Cancer Foundation  Grants
A full list of grants on offer by NBCF to Australian breast cancer researchers, including funding amounts, duration, applicant eligibility and availability details is now available.

Future Planning and Advance Care Planning: Why It Needs To Be Different For People With Cognitive Decline
A national project aiming to improve the quality and uptake of advance care planning (ACP) for people with dementia has found a new approach is needed to ensure their voice is heard in decisions affecting lifestyle, financial issues, care and health. The research, conducted by the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre and HammondCare, provides seven key recommendations to assist in developing a national model for ACP for people with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment.

Admitted patient care 2014–15: Australian hospital statistics
AIHW Report shows that the number of admissions increased by 3.2% on average each year for public hospitals and 4.0% for private hospitals between 2010-11 and 2014-15.

Research into Practice
Dr R Sean Morrison from the National Palliative Care Research Center, USA, presented on Research into practice: how can it be done systematically and effectively at recent PCRNV Forum on 24 February 2016. A video recording of the presentation is now available.

Views and Experiences of Allied Health Professionals about Palliative Care
Flinders University is conducting a study about Allied Health professionals’ views and experience of palliative care. Allied health professionals are invited to participate in a short online survey.  Details on the research project and a link to the survey can be found below:

Palliative care for people with intellectual disabilities
The European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) has recently published a White Paper from its Taskforce on Palliative Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) Theme
The theme for NPCW is living well with chronic illness.  The theme addresses the need for people with advanced chronic illness to be able to access palliative care. The week runs from 22-28 May 2016. For more details go

Flinders University Palliative Care Alumni Needed for Survey
Deb Rawlings is conducting a survey of Flinders University alumni as part of a study looking at the impact of a postgraduate palliative care course on the professional lives of alumni and on their ability to change work practice. You can access the survey and participant information sheet here

Health status and risk factors of Australians with disability 2007-08 and 2011-12
This report examines how health-related factors affect the health status of Australians with disability at the national population level. In 2011-12, half (51%) of people aged 15-64 with severe or profound disability reported poor or fair health, compared with 6% for those without disability. Half (50%) of people aged under 65 with severe or profound disability had mental health conditions, compared with 8% for those without disability.

ACAT transition to My Aged Care
Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) commenced using My Aged Care to conduct comprehensive assessments and referrals for residential care, transition care and home care packages from 1 February 2016. Details on transition dates by state.

Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in General Practice Project Officer 
HammondCare is looking for a dynamic and motivated clinical educator with excellent project coordination experience to coordinate the development of a palliative care and advance care planning training package for Australian general practice nurses. Please see the attached advertisement and job description. For further information about the role, please contact the Project Lead A/Prof Josephine Clayton on

Allied health workforce 2014 (web report update)
Access to health care and community services is regarded as essential to quality of life, and therefore the nature, size, distribution and effectiveness of the health and community services workforce is the subject of much scrutiny by governments, the media and the community. This release updates a set of web pages displays dashboard-style summaries of the registered health workforce, and accompanying downloadable summary data tables, with 2014 data.

Palliative care in Australia 2015 - tranche 2
The second of two scheduled updates of the Palliative Care Services in Australia (PCSiA) online publication for 2015. This second update includes Palliative care in general practice, Palliative care outcomes, Palliative care in residential aged care and Palliative care workforce.

25 years of health expenditure in Australia 1989-90 to 2013-14
Health expenditure grew from $50.3 billion in 1989-90 to $154.6 billion in 2013-14 in real terms (adjusted for inflation). Over the period, health expenditure grew much faster than inflation, the population and population ageing. Health expenditure increased from 6.5% of gross domestic product in 1989-90 to 9.7% of gross domestic product in 2013-14.

SA Palliative Care State Conference 2016
The 3rd state conference will be held on 27 May 2016. It will focus on dementia, care of the elderly, palliative care and end of life care.

Caring for Cognitive Impairment
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has launched a national campaign to improve knowledge and care practices to provide better outcomes and reduce the risk of harm to people with cognitive impairment in hospital.

PubMed for Nurses
A set of videos, designed specifically for nurses, provides an introduction to searching literature in PubMed.

Review of the structure of NHMRC’s grant programme 
The NHMRC is undertaking an over-arching review of its grant programme to determine whether it is possible to streamline the current suite of funding schemes, while continuing to support the best Australian research and researchers for the benefit of human health.

Improvements to Palliative Care Service Delivery: New Initiatives and Creating Change. Insights from the USA’s Center to Advance Palliative Care
A special presentation by Dr Meier will focus on highlighting strategies for systematic improvement of palliative care provision incorporating public policy, research, education and clinical practice.

Palliative Care Online training
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association has re-launched the Palliative Care Online Training Portal with two new training modules on pain management and recognising deteriorating patients.

New principles for accessing publicly funded data for the purpose of health research
NHMRC has developed important guidance in consultation with national data custodians, health researchers and consumer representatives. The Principles aim to ensure that the variety of publicly funded Australian data are appropriately accessed and used to improve health outcomes through quality research.

New Partnership Centre Opportunity
NHMRC has opened a request for Partnership Centre Applications to establish a new NHMRC Partnership Centre: Health System Sustainability.

Dementia grants
The Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (DCRC) seek applications from researchers, health professionals and policymakers for national funding for 2015-16, for small, medium and large projects to be completed by 30 June 2017. Projects in applied research or knowledge translation must specifically address one or more of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) priority dementia research areas.

Last updated 23 October 2016