2019 has been a year in the spotlight for aged care. This includes the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety but also implementation of the new single set of Aged Care Quality Standards. Replacing four previous standards the new standards firmly place the care needs and preferences of individuals at the centre. To support uptake of the new standards the 2019 In Focus series has outlined how the palliAGED evidence-based resources can be used to support implementation. To date this has included an introduction to the standards and separately a focus on standards 1, 2, and 3. In a six month period these pages have been viewed more than 6,000 times. In 2020 the remaining standards will also be covered.
Some of the resources highlighted as part of this have stemmed from our 2017-20 project to consolidate content across CareSearch and palliAGED with the aim of creating a single point of access for evidence based palliative care guidance for aged care. CareSearch remains committed to providing evidence based resources for across the life course including care of older Australians, however, the 2017 launch of palliAGED has presented new opportunities. Driven by the need to provide easy access to evidence and resources as quickly as possible, selected content previously held within the CareSearch website section for Residential Aged Care (RAC) was updated and transferred to palliAGED. This included development of the palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets for careworkers and nurses and the new content on Aged care policy.
If we consider the origins of these resources this decision makes sense. The RAC Hub was developed by CareSearch in collaboration with Aged Care stakeholders and drawing on the work used to develop the APRAC Guidelines it was launched in 2011. palliAGED was funded by the Department of Health in 2017 to provide a new form of palliative care guidance for aged care – both residential aged care and home care. It was designed to update and replace the APRAC and COMPAC Guidelines (485kb pdf). Combining all of these has strengthened palliAGED and simplified the task of accessing evidence based information in aged care.
The RAC Hub content has now been reviewed, updated, revised, and relocated where appropriate as summarised in the following:
- Facility Issues has moved to the Australian Context pages and now includes an expanded section on policy including a policy timeline providing one-stop access to key documents relevant to aged care and palliative care policy development.
- Care Issues and Communication content as well as some single topic pages found elsewhere in the RAC Hub have been used as a basis to develop a set of palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets for Careworkers and nurses.
- RAC Hub content on Working in RAC has been transferred to the palliAGED Practice Centre under Practice Roles.
- palliAGED Education and Training section has undergone a major expansion and now complements the CareSearch Education section by providing access to online opportunities for the aged care sector including and related to palliative care.
- Content from the RAC Hub For Residents and Families section has been transferred to the palliAGED For the Community section on Residential Aged Care.
- Content from the Literature and Resources section has been transferred to the palliAGED Finding and Using Evidence Section.
With completion of this transfer in September 2019, RAC Hub was closed and our many visitors redirected to the new content within palliAGED. This has opened new opportunities for CareSearch to further evolve in response to community need and we will be providing more information on this through our CareSearch Products pages in 2020.
For those looking for evidence-based information on providing palliative care for older people we look forward to supporting you in 2020 through palliAGED.
Katrina Erny-Albrecht, Senior Research Fellow, CareSearch, Flinders University