GP Palliative care

As the number of ageing Australians with progressive chronic conditions increases, GPs face complex clinical, legal and ethical challenges in the provision of safe, high quality, coordinated and timely palliative care to older Australians living in the community. To support GPs to manage these challenges, a range of educational opportunities and resources specifically tailored to their professional needs, will be offered.

These educational options are based on a Framework of palliative care, a tool that uses three prognostic trajectories to support GPs to proactively manage their patient's care as it transitions from curative to palliative and to facilitate a quality end-of-life according to patient preferences.

It is founded on work undertaken in both the UK (The Gold Standards Framework) and in Australia (The Palliative Approach (PA) Toolkit - Module 1: Integrating a palliative approach) (374kb pdf) developed by The University of Queensland; Brisbane 2012.

The Framework overview

The Framework is commenced by asking the question, “Would you be surprised if the person died in the next 6 to 12 months?”, ideally embedded into routine practice in a systematic way.
  • In the first trajectory (patient prognosis of greater than 6-12 months), when the answer to the surprise question is “yes”, the key clinical process is advance care planning, an interactive ongoing process of communication focussing on the person’s preferences for future care.
  • In the second trajectory (patient prognosis of less than 6-12 months), when the answer to the surprise question is ”no”, the key clinical process is case conferencing. This aims to identify clear goals of care so that all carers are “all on the same page”.
  • In the third trajectory, a diagnosis of dying has been made with a prognosis of usually less than a week. The key clinical process is development of a terminal care management plan.
Implementing the framework as part of routine practice can facilitate GPs to deliver care, aligned with patient's preferences, at the right time and in the right place.

More information is available on the Framework, including:

Education for GPs

The educational opportunities available or being developed include:


More Information

For more information, contact the Project Manager
Karen Cooper

To register for an update as new resources become available, email

Page updated 29 June 2016