GRPCC eNews No37 - April 2019
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Life and Death Matters 

The GRPCC eNews Life & Death Matters is circulated bi-monthly to provide you with current information regarding the GRPCC and its members, including upcoming education and training. If you have been forwarded the GRPCC eNews from a colleague or friend and would like to receive your own copy, click on the subscribe button below
Welcome to this eNewsletter-
    • GRPCC - A month in review
    • National Advance Care Planning Week
    • National Palliative Care Week
    • Honorary Palliative Medicine Research Assistant and Telehealth Co-ordinator
  • Education and events
    • Palliative Care Essentials 1-day Short Course
    • Play East Love - Grampians Regional Palliative Care Conference
    • Oceanic Palliative Care Conference
  • Resources and information 
    • Paediatric End-of-life Care
    • PEPA GP Online Learning
  • In the news/ research
    • Language matters: Podcast with Brian Block and Anna DeForest
    • Hope is essential in every field of medicine
    • Symptom Management in the Terminal Phase: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
    • End-of-life care is aggressive for amputees on dialysis
  • Newsletters

A month in review  
In February, the GRPCC partnered with WGHG to provide training to new and existing palliative care volunteers in the Baw Baw, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Bass Coast regions. Rosemary Joiner (WGHG Consumer Engagement and Volunteers Coordinator) and Carol Barbeler (GRPCC Palliative Aged Care and Disability Resource Nurse & MND Shared Care Worker) delivered the 10 module training program, which was held over three days utilising aspects of the PCV Palliative Care Volunteer Training Resource Kit and the LCHS volunteer training program.  In total, 18 existing or prospective palliative care volunteers from WGHG, BCH, GSHS and LCHS attended the volunteer training.   All attendees agreed  that the education and venue were excellent and feedback received was that the three day course was very informative and relevant to the role of a volunteer.  We are currently looking a opportunities to run similar training throughout Gippsland.

Over the past six months a number of the CPG guidelines have been reviewed.  The revised guidelines are now in the process of final approval and will be made available shortly on the GRPCC website.

Save the Date - 25th June 2019
The GRPCC is now in the planning stages with Safer Care Victoria and Gippsland PHN to hold a Palliative and End of Life Care Forum on Tuesday 25th June in Traralgon.  The forum will provide an opportunity to connect clinicians and thought leaders in the region, create a platform for sharing of local clinical or quality improvement issues and opportunities and provide information and teaching around the IHI quality improvement methodology.  Further details will be available shortly so save the date and keep an eye out for upcoming newsletters for registration details.

National Advance Care Planning Week 
1 - 5 April 2019

This weeks marks National Advance Care Planning Week which is an annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia that encourages all Australians, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health care preferences known.

The initiative challenges people to start conversations with loved ones about what living well means to them and to consider who they would want to speak for them, if they were too sick to speak for themselves.

Click here to visit the National Advance Care Planning Week website

National Palliative Care Week 
19 - 25 May

The theme for National Palliative Care Week 2019 is ‘What matters most?’ and it will be held from the 19-25 May 2019. 

National Palliative Care Week is a national week organised by Palliative Care Australia and supported by the Department of Health to raise awareness and understanding about palliative care in the Australian community.

The theme addresses the need for Australians to plan ahead for their end-of-life care and discuss it with their loved ones and health professionals. .

Click here to visit the Palliative Care Australia website

Honorary Palliative Medicine Research Assistant and Telehealth Co-ordinator

Monash Health is seeking  a part-time honorary research assistant, based in Gippsland, to assist in the co-ordination of telehealth research efforts. The candidate will be required to work with the Monash Health telehealth-palliative care team to facilitate telehealth services between Monash Health and community palliative care patients in their home, in the West Gippsland, Central Gippsland and Gippsland Lakes Region.  The candidate will work closely with the West Gippsland Healthcare Group, Latrobe Community Health Service and Gippsland Lakes Community Health.  We have found it necessary and most beneficial to have a coordinator located in Gippsland to ensure smooth implementation and operation of the telehealth process and research.  

Tasks include:

  • Assist in co-ordination of recruitment of patients
  • Liaise with associated GPs in regards to the recruitment and ongoing progress of referred patients
  • Assist associated District Nurse Practitioners with the set-up of teleconsultation equipment
  • Assist patients and carers in the completion of quality-of-life measures and research data collection
  • Work closely with Monash Health Supportive and Palliative Care physicians and research staff 
    14 hrs per week @ $27.50 per hour (total $20,000 for 12 months). 
    Please send applications (cover letter and resume) or queries to Linda Jay, Personal Assistant to Director, Supportive and Palliative Care, Monash Health on
Click here to view the full job descrpition
Education & Events

Palliative Care Essentials 1-day Short Course
Banksia Palliative Care services will be coming to Gippsland to hold a comprehensive 1-day short course for Registered and Enrolled Nurses working in the acute or community settings, with an interest in palliative care. It will provide attendees with greater understanding and knowledge of general palliative care principles.

The training includes the following palliative care topics:
  • Palliative symptom management including, but not be limited to:
  • Non pharmaceutical management of pain and discomfort;
  • General care and comfort principles including diligent mouth care, regular pressure area care, thorough hygiene, etc;
  • Managing the appetite and intake of a palliative patient;
  • Advocating for a palliative patient when dealing with other health services
  • Emotional support for terminal patients and their families.
  • Effective communication in palliative care (with patients and family members).
  • The importance of self-care and teamwork, and support that is available for staff. 

Date:        Thursday 13th June 2019
Time:        9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost:         $50 + booking fee
Location:  Monash Rural Health
                  Corner Victoria Street & Day Street,  Bairnsdale

Date:         Friday 14th June 2019
Time:         9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost:         $50 + booking fee
Location:  Monash Rural Health
                  Sargeant Street, Warragul
Click here to register for the Bairnsdale session
Click here to register for the Warragul session

Play Eat Love - Grampians Regional Palliative Care conference   

The Grampians Regional Palliative Care conference  themed ‘Play, Eat, Love’ – What are the things that keep us alive' will feature some very exciting speakers including Exercise Physiologist Dr Bobby Cheema, Genetic Counsellor Megan Cotter, Grief & Loss Counsellor Liese Groot-Alberts and a guest panel to discuss Voluntary Assisted Dying.  These speakers have been handpicked to educate but to also start your mind wondering about all the good things in life that keep us alive while working with people who are dying.

Date:          23 - 24th May, 2019
Location:   RACV Goldfields Resort, Creswick
Cost:          $270 One Day
                   $420 Two day including dinner 

Click here for more details and to register

Oceanic Palliative Care Conference

In September 2019 the palliative care sector will gather in the beautiful location of Perth, Australia for the 2019 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference #19OPCC, formerly the Australian Palliative Care Conference.

Proudly hosted by Palliative Care Australia, the Conference will attract the decision makers of today, the future leaders of tomorrow, policy influencers and those involved in the latest research and thinking about palliative care and end of life care on a national and international scale.

The 2019 conference will be held at Perth Convention Centre from 10–13 September 2019.

Click here visit the conference website and for registration details


Paediatric End-Of-Life Care 

Paediatric End-of-life Care is a new module developed by end-of-life care essentials. On completion you will be able to develop an awareness of your own attitudes to the death of a child, recognise the most helpful responses to moral distress and adopt responses to common questions in paediatric end-of-life care.

Click here visit the End-of-Life Care Essentials website

PEPA GP Online Learning

GP Online learning Modules will support GPs to develop their knowledge and skills for the practice of Palliative care delivery. 

The online learning modules have been developed by a team of palliative care experts and reviewed by clinicians with extensive palliative care experience, including current medical practitioners.

The modules provide opportunities for reflective learning with the following content. Key topics include:

  • Principles of Palliative Care
  • Communication with people with life-limiting illnesses
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Assessing and Managing symptoms
  • Assessing and Managing Pain
  • Awareness of Self-Care
Click here for further information
In the News / Research

Language Matters: Podcast with Brian Block and Anna DeForest

This GeriPal podcast takes a deeper dive into this issue of language and medicine.  Eric and Alex are joined by guests Anna DeForest, MD, MFA, a resident in Neurology at Yale, and Brian Block, MD, a pulmonary critical care fellow at UCSF.  
Click here to be directed to the podcast

Hope is essential in every field of medicine
Article by Sharon Casey for

A man in his fifties is wheeled into the emergency department on a gurney hoping he’ll still be around to cheer from the sidelines at his daughter’s next soccer game. A little girl on the pediatric floor upstairs simply hopes her tummy stops hurting. A woman in the clinic explains her puzzling symptoms and hopes that this is the specialist who will finally be able to ascertain why she hasn’t been feeling well.

Our patients’ hopes are as varied as their medical conditions, and as their health care providers, we often support them in these hopes. Holding hope for our patients is part of our duty. However, hope is inherently complex, and sometimes it is in conflict with another duty – our responsibility to tell patients difficult truths that will extinguish their hope. It is these circumstances that call for a renewed understanding of hope. [read more]

Symptom Management in the Terminal Phase: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Blog by Paul Tait and Susan Gravier for CareSearch

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” – Isaac Asimov, American science fiction novelist & scholar (1920 – 1992).
Symptoms can be anticipated in the terminal or transition phase referred to by Asimov. How these symptoms are managed influences the person’s comfort and the level of carer stress, and therefore, their ability to die in their home.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) and general practitioners (GPs) are well placed to lead care into the terminal phase. Prescribing for terminal phase symptoms in advance (anticipatory prescribing) is good practice; facilitating good communication between nurses, pharmacists and carers.  When the person requires medicines they can be given immediately without any delay, thus avoiding unnecessary stress and escalation of care. [read more]

End-of-life care is aggressive for amputees on dialysis
Nearly one in 10 patients with end-stage kidney failure undergoes toe, foot, or leg amputation in their last year of life. During this time, these patients have prolonged stays in healthcare settings and limited access to hospice services. The findings, published Feb. 19, 2019, in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, indicate unmet palliative care needs of these patients. [read more]

Safer Care Victoria eNews - #7 | 13 February 2019
Safer Care Victoria eNews - #8 | 1 March 2019
Safer Care Victoria eNews - #9 | 12 March 2019
Safer Care Victoria eNews - #10 | 26 March 2019
CareSearch - March
EOL Essentials Project News - EDITION 33 - March 2019
PEPA Aged Care Newsletter - Edition #56 February 2019
palliAGED News - February
palliAGED News - March
Meaningful Ageing Australia - February

Mailing Address:

Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium
c/- West Gippsland Healthcare Group
Landsborough Road
Warragul  Vic  3820
t:   03 5623 0684

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