National Palliative Care Projects

The Australian Government funds a range of national palliative care projects primarily focused on education, training, quality improvement and advance care planning.

Page last updated: 02 July 2015

The Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative

The Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative, is a national project led by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and consists of the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) program and the Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) project.

Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

PEPA aims to enhance the capacity of health professionals to deliver a palliative care approach by providing palliative care workplace training opportunities (via clinical placements) and workshops for a range of health care professionals, including nurses, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health workers, general practitioners and other health care workers. PEPA also provides national workshops and newsletters for aged care workers.

For more information about PEPA placements and workshops please contact the PEPA manager in your state or territory. These contacts, along with more detailed information about the project, are available from the PEPA website.

Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U)

PCC4U aims to further improve the skills and confidence the generalist workforce to work with people with palliative care needs by:
  • promoting and sustaining the inclusion of the role of palliative care and its principles and practice in the care of dying people in all health care training;
  • supporting the inclusion of palliative care education as an integral part of all medical, nursing and allied health undergraduate training, and ongoing professional development;
  • informing a whole of workforce approach to palliative care education in all health education and training; and
  • providing a platform for innovation and research in palliative care education across the health care professions.
Since inception, the project has developed, trialled and evaluated palliative care learning resources for incorporation into medical, nursing and allied health undergraduate curricula.

QUT is currently extending PCC4U into relevant programs in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector and health care settings, for regulated and unregulated health providers.

More information is available on the Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates website.

Palliative Care Training and Information Online Portal (formerly COMPAC Guidelines Online Training)

An online education and training package is available to assist health workers, including general practitioners, nurses and care workers to implement the principles of the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC Guidelines).

Participants have the ability to apply for continued professional development points and recognition of prior learning.
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As part of the Palliative Care Training and Information Online Portal project, the Australian Hospitals and Healthcare Association (AHHA) will develop and establish a comprehensive, innovative and accessible online information and training portal. This will be aimed at frontline palliative care workers.

The free online training program is available on the Palliative Care Online website.

Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC)

PCOC consists of a consortium of four universities led by the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong.

PCOC provides a national network for palliative care services to assist with the collection of information and reporting patient outcomes. PCOC supports services to consistently compare and measure the quality of their services in order to facilitate a process of continuous service improvement.

This is achieved through:
  • education, training and support to services in the use of data to improve service quality, including information technology training, establishment or modification;
  • collaborating with participating services to analyse benchmarking results and quality data; and
  • contributing to the development of a culture of continuous quality improvement.
More information is available on the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration website.

Palliative Care Australia

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is the peak national organisation for palliative care and end of life issues in Australia. The Australian Government provides funding to PCA for infrastructure support and operational activities.

PCA will continue to:
  • inform and contribute to the development of palliative care public policy in Australia;
  • consult and collaborate with the palliative care sector and the wider Australian community on palliative care and end of life issues;
  • promote increased awareness of palliative care across the Australian community through information development and dissemination; and
  • undertake the national palliative care standards program.

Respecting Patient Choices

The Respecting Patient Choices (RPC) project aims to ensure patients’ choices about their end of life care are respected. In doing so, RPC aims to develop a national program for advance care planning (ACP) promotion and capacity building that can be implemented nationally.

RPC focuses on developing systems of training, clinical practices, and policies for effective advance care planning. RPC is currently:
  • developing resources aimed at improving awareness of and engagement with ACP for people from non-English speaking backgrounds;
  • providing national ACP support for consumers and health workers by further developing evidence-based practice through research, information sharing and promotion of ACP; and
  • training health care workers caring for people with dementia in how to have an ACP conversation
The project will improve the quality and effectiveness of end of life care by providing patients with a mechanism for discussing and recording their choices about health care in an advance care plan.

For more information on advance care planning, visit the Department's Advance Care Planning webpage.

Paediatric Palliative Care National Education and Quality Improvement Collaborative

The Australian Government is funding the the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital Health Service (CHQHHS) to undertake the Paediatric Palliative Care National Education and Quality Improvement Collaborative project.
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The project aims to build the capacity of local health professionals to provide palliative care to children and support to families, and improve the quality of paediatric palliative care services across all Australian jurisdictions.

The CHQHHS will coordinate the development and delivery of an educational portfolio to educate health professionals in acute and community based services (both government and non-government), Indigenous and Islander communities, and regional/remote hospitals in the area of paediatric palliative care.

Listen, Acknowledge, Respond

IntegratedLiving Australia and Charles Sturt University are being funded to deliver projects focussed on person-centred palliative care, and bench-marking of skills.

The Listen Acknowledge, Respond project will deliver:
  • Listen, Acknowledge, Respond: Developing sector skills for a new paradigm in palliative care;
  • Towards True Community Care: Benchmarking a new paradigm in treatment; and
  • Creating Cost Effective Care: A comparative analysis.
Combined, these activities will seek to identify and build the capability of allied health, social and other health care workers to support end of life care needs for people with life limiting illness.

Training Counsellors for Carers of Palliative Patients

Carers Australia will receive funding to deliver of a series of workshops to train counsellors and other people to better support carers who are caring for someone in palliative care.

Workshops will focus on the needs of counsellors in the Carers Australia network, and the needs of a wide range of palliative care and other health professional organisations, such as general counsellors, social workers and case managers that deliver services to carers providing end of life care.

Online Religious and Culturally Sensitive Advance Care Planning

Cabrini Health will be funded to strengthen the understanding and uptake of advance care planning across the palliative care sector by developing an advance care planning online resource, with consideration of various religious and cultural denominations, to assist in end of life decision making. This will be undertaken in consultation with religious, cultural and national palliative care organisations.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)

The AIHW will receive funding to continue to undertake a range of activities relating to improving national data on palliative care provision. These tasks include annual data collection, analysis and reporting activities.

The Australian Palliative Care Knowledge Network – CareSearch

Flinders University South Australia is funded to establish, host and maintain the CareSearch website.

The website provides information resources for researchers and palliative care specialists, along with information for patients and their families, carers, general practitioners, other health care professionals and the general public. The site covers topics on specific diseases, finding support and help and self-care for caregivers.

CareSearch provides online resources and tools to:
  • encourage communication and interaction;
  • link to other online resources;
  • support education and learning;
  • contribute to research; and
  • help families and carers manage their issues and concerns.

End of Life Care in Acute Settings

Flinders University will also be funded to improve service provider skill development through the development of online education modules and an associated implementation tool kit on health care at the end of life in acute hospitals. The resources will be developed in conjunction with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).

The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC)

Flinders University of South Australia is being funded to coordinate PaCCSC- a research infrastructure comprising a number of partner agencies, which are collaboratively involved in undertaking clinical medication studies. The aims of PaCCSC are to:
  • develop an efficient and effective method of generating research data that will support the listing of palliative care medicines on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG);
  • build the research capacity of the palliative care sector so that ongoing clinical medication studies can occur; and
  • build the evidence base to support the ongoing implementation of studies on medicine use and quality practice in palliative care.
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