00:00:08:21 - 00:00:37:06
So compassionate cities are ones where they embed in their civic life and understanding that there are social dimensions to death, dying and bereavement. But for me, until now, compassionate communities are always somewhere else. So for us to be successful in gaining the Greater Choice for Palliative Care at Home funding from the Commonwealth really allowed us to pull together a group of interested organisations and individuals to say, Let's make this happen here.
So that's why compassionate communities and the model that came out of that funding work was so important to me.
00:00:44:12 - 00:01:06:09
I had no idea what it was all about until my younger brother got sick at the age of 18, and it took him five months to die and he had cancer. So I stopped working and cared for him for that five months. It hit me like a brick that this happens every day to some family. It's from there that you realise that this is an ongoing thing.
It's a big part of our lives. Because I think one thing you can get and guarantee it's going to happen to you because you're not going to live forever. Your parents are not going to live forever. So you're going to have to be involved in a compassionate part of your life. If there is a possibility out there that we can help you into that, then that is the reason why we need to get involved.
00:01:29:02 - 00:02:07:00
Compassionate communities is fabulous. So particularly for me as an academic palliative care physician, I've been very interested in a movement called public health palliative care, which is really thinking about rather than palliative care as just an individual connection with one person and perhaps one practitioner, a doctor or a nurse. We think much more broadly about what are the resources and assets within a community that will support those that are terminally ill, frail, elderly, bereaved, grieving. And to think about really supporting those structures within a community to get maximum input.
00:02:07:02 - 00:02:54:07
The biggest breakthrough, I think, with the the Greater Choices program was that it brought together the leadership of a whole range of organisations. So the Health service, hospice, the City Council, some of the arts community, whole ambulance, aged care, the leadership of some of those organisations and getting those people to sit down together around the table. We've found all kinds of ways that we could work together, both professionally and as community members, to improve death literacy, to let people know more about what their choices were and also how they can live as well as possible for as long as they can.
00:02:54:09 - 00:07:30:07
I think often when we think about palliative care, we think about leadership that comes out of medicine and nursing and out of the health structures. The compassionate communities model really takes that and pivots that around to say, actually death and dying is a social phenomenon. It happens within the life of our families and communities, and therefore leadership in our civic structures is so important.
WA Primary Health Alliance operate the Central Western Australia Primary Health Network (PHN).