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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
A full time GP can expect to see 5-6 deaths per year. With increase in our ageing population, and people becoming more frail as they accumulate more health problems, the rate of deaths is set to double. Professor Geoffrey Mitchell of the University of Queensland writes how GPs can better support patients and their carers and families by updating their knowledge through best available palliative care evidence and CareSearch.
Australia is a dynamic multicultural country. Ours is a nation that is home to one of the world’s oldest culture and millions of people belonging to 270 ancestries. We need quality evidence to be able to address the needs and challenges faced by our older CALD Australians and provide them person and family-centred palliative care. Mary Patetsos discusses providing person- and family-centred palliative care for a culturally diverse Australia and the importance to have resources like CareSearch.
Professor Imogen Mitchell discusses her role as a practising intensive care specialist and the value of evidence to inform decisions not only about individual patient care but the use of evidence in business discussions to improve the delivery of health care. Imogen highlights you can access this trustworthy information about the palliative approach to end-of-life care through CareSearch and the importance of CareSearch providing invaluable, up-to-date evidence.
Most Australians have an expectation that their GP will be able to provide them with the care they need when they are unwell, or at least make sure that they are linked in with the right services. While most GPs feel they have a role to play in caring for patients at the end-of-life, many do not feel confident in doing so.
Recognised barriers to providing palliative care include patient complexity, inadequate training, inadequate access to resources and poor communication from specialists or treating teams.
Palliative care and advance care planning is, and should be, part of the normal scope of practice of all primary care providers. To support this ELDAC has developed the primary care toolkit with relevant information and resources.
The Adelaide Primary Health Network has been meeting with stakeholders in the provision of palliative care since the commencement of their organisation in July 2015. They have always seen palliative care as a priority and have been working closely with providers through our Older People and Palliative Care Health Priority Groups. In February 2018, the Adelaide PHN was selected as a successful recipient of funds from the Commonwealth Government through the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care measure. Deb Lee discusses how Adelaide PHN will use these funds through the 'Enabling Choice for South Australians' project.