CareSearch: Supporting paediatric palliative care

CareSearch: Supporting paediatric palliative care

A blog post written by Dr Anthony Herbert, Director, Paediatric Palliative Care Service, Division of Medicine, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service

My area of professional practice has related to Paediatric Palliative Care. I first became aware of CareSearch in 2009 when I attended the Australian Palliative Care Conference in Perth as a new medical consultant. CareSearch developed particular resources including a subsection on paediatrics and searches of the paediatric literature. I was impressed by the ease of access to evidence based practice relating to palliative care via the website and information sheets. I was also impressed by the focus on other vulnerable populations (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients) and particular professional groups (e.g. allied health).

Subsequent support that CareSearch has provided to paediatric clinicians has included housing of the Clinical Indicators that the paediatric palliative care services in Australia collect on the CareSearch Research Management System (RMS). Various research studies have also utilised the RMS including a study on end-of-life care in Paediatric Intensive Care Units and the role of ambulance services in caring for children with palliative care needs.

CareSearch have also partnered with the National Standards Assessment Program to run workshops on quality improvement for paediatric practitioners. A personal highlight for myself has been the increased collaboration between CareSearch and paediatric services after the commencement of the Quality of Care Collaborative of Australia (QuoCCA) in paediatric palliative care education in 2015. Like CareSearch, this project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health through the National Palliative Care Projects.

CareSearch has helped QuoCCA develop a website ( with the aim of being a resource for the education of health professionals working in paediatric palliative care. CareSearch has provided an attractive and excellent platform at minimal cost. I have had the pleasure of visiting the CareSearch office in South Australia (while attending the 2017 Australian Palliative Care Conference in Adelaide) and we have benefited from having CareSearch staff members attend the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane to provide training on how to maintain the website.

CareSearch has also engaged well with social media including Twitter, with linkages to research and blogs. This is also a personal interest of mine, and a way that I find out about new developments in paediatric palliative care on a daily basis.

On reflection, the utilisation of librarians and repositories of knowledge in palliative care (including the grey literature) is an innovative way of progressing the knowledge and practice of palliative care alongside dedicated clinicians, researchers and educators. PedPalASCNET ( is a similar innovation that has been developed for paediatric palliative care practitioners and researchers based in Canada. We are appreciative in Australia of being able to integrate our paediatric knowledge and resources with CareSearch and access knowledge and expertise at the same time.

Profile picture of Dr Anthony Herbert

Dr Anthony Herbert, Director, Paediatric Palliative Care Service, Division of Medicine, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service


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The views and opinions expressed in Palliative Perspectives are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.