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: 25 June 2014

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

Palliative Care Australia – Core Funding

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is the peak national organisation representing the interests and aspirations of all who share the ideal of quality care at the end of life for all. The Australian Government provides funding to PCA for infrastructure support and operational activities, including conducting the National Palliative Care Week annually.

For more information on Palliative Care Australia visit the Palliative Care Australia Website.

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.

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

To download or order a copy of the COMPAC Guidelines, visit the Palliative Care Publications webpage.

Tasmanian Health Assistance Package COMPAC Guidelines Training Project

As part of the Tasmanian Health Assistance Package, the Australian Government is funding the development and delivery of face to face training for health professionals and non-professionals on the implementation of the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC Guidelines) across the whole of Tasmania.

The objectives of the project are to:
  • enhance the palliative care support skills of health professionals and non-professionals; and
  • improve the delivery of appropriate palliative care services to people being cared for in their homes.
More information is available by clicking the Tasmania icon on the Palliative Care Online website.

To download or order a copy of the COMPAC Guidelines, visit the Palliative Care Publications webpage.

Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach

The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) is a national program led by Queensland University of Technology which is being implemented in conjunction with states and territories. PEPA provides 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. Back to top of page

Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates

Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) is a national project led by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

PCC4U aims to:
  • promote the inclusion in all health care training of the role of palliative care and its principles and practice in the care of dying people; and
  • support the inclusion of palliative care education as an integral part of all medical, nursing and allied health undergraduate training and ongoing professional development.
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 implementing the national roll-out of the developed resources to all universities which offer medical, nursing and allied health undergraduate training.

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

The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative

The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) is a group of palliative care units throughout Australia which has been established to gather the evidence required to support further Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listings. PaCCSC is conducting scientific research into the safety and efficacy of a number of medicines. This research may support the registration of some medicines used in palliative care in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, and subsequently, their listing on the PBS.

More information is available on the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative website.

The Australian Palliative Care Knowledge Network – CareSearch

The Australian Palliative Care Knowledge Network (CareSearch) is a website that includes a searchable database of palliative care literature and online forums that allow groups to share research, reports and information. 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.

The CareSearch website 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.
It also contains specific professional Hubs with pages specifically designed to assist general practitioners, allied health professionals, nurses, and residential aged care staff. These pages recognise different needs and draw on evidence and research to guide the different professional groups to materials and information to help them provide quality palliative care. They include quick clinical guidance and links to online resources.
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Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has received funding from the Australian Government 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 AIHW publishes an annual palliative care report ‘Palliative Care Services in Australia’.

More information, including palliative care publications, is available on the AIHW website.

Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration

The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (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.Back to top of page

National Standards Assessment Program

Palliative Care Australia has been funded to deliver the National Standards Assessment Program (NSAP), a national framework for continuous quality improvement. NSAP enables specialist palliative care services to undertake consistent self-assessment against Palliative Care Australia’s Standards for providing quality palliative care for all Australians and implement quality improvement actions at the service level.

More information is available on the Palliative Care Australia website.

Respecting Patient Choices

The Australian Government is implementing the Respecting Patient Choices (RPC) project through Austin Health, Victoria. The objective of the RPC project is 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 (including training) that can be implemented nationally. 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.

RPC is currently developing targeted ACP approaches for people with dementia, people with psychiatric illnesses, people from culturally and linguistically diverse and Indigenous communities, and recipients of aged care packages. Additional work is being done to produce ACP approaches for specific use in primary care settings.

The RPC program is currently:
  • developing nationally consistent advance care planning practice guidelines;
  • expanding advance care planning in general practice; and
  • developing and promoting advance care planning and policy through special interest groups, learned colleges and appropriate clinical areas.
More information is available on the Respecting Patient Choices website.

For more information on Advance Care Planning, visit the Department's Advance Care Planning webpage.Back to top of page

Specialist Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Advisory Services

The Australian Government is funding a consortium led by Austin Health (Victoria) to provide specialist palliative care and advance care planning advisory services nationally to aged care providers and general practitioners caring for recipients of aged care services.

Consortium members include Palliative Care Australia, Flinders University, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, Leading Age Services Australia and Aged and Community Services Australia.

The advisory services will be operational from mid-2014 and will include: telephone based advice via a national 1800 number (24 hours/day, 7 days/week); tele-health advice; a one-stop palliative care resource website; and training on palliative care and advance care planning.

The advisory services will aim to improve linkages between aged care and palliative care services and to improve palliative care skills and advance care planning expertise of aged care staff and general practitioners caring for recipients of aged care services.

For more information on Advance Care Planning, visit the Department's Advance Care Planning webpage

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