GRPCC eNews No42 - June 2020
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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 here to subscribe

Staying in Touch
Due to Covid restrictions, the GRPCC instigated regular 'zoom' catch-ups with GRPCC group members.  This included 
  • Community of Practice
  • Bush Nurses group
  • Aged care services
Zoom meetings were held with well being and reflective practice facilitated by clinical psychologist John Reeves.  The catch-ups also provided forums to distill accurate and relevant information about the pandemic.  

The effectiveness and easy access to meet with the group in a busy work environment, compounded by geographic challenges has highlighted how efficacious the zoom telehealth model is.  Discussion with the groups regarding the ongoing use of this virtual model to provide greater efficiency and access to meetings
New Resources
Guidelines and documents to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care
The GRPCC Clinical Practice Group (CPG) continues to provide / source multiple clinical guidelines and documents in response to needs to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care.
The importance of evidence based practice cannot be underestimated in the palliative care environment, whether in the community, in residential aged care, or the inpatient setting.

Click on the recently endorsed the guidelines to view

Symptom management for adult patients with COVID-19 receiving end-of-life supportive care outside of the ICU 

Palliative Care Emergencies

Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines

Clinical Care Guidelines
- developed by Banksia Palliative Care and modified for use in Gippsland

For a full list of CPG Guidelines please visit the GRPCC website
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions currently in place,  all GRPCC education has been postponed until further notice.  We are currently exploring new ways to ensure learning needs of the palliative care workforce in Gippsland are met.
Project Updates
Strengthening support for palliative care clients in Gippsland (Stage 2) – Implementation of the Telephone Triage Tool

The GRPCC, in collaboration with the Gippsland Primary Health Network and Monash School of Rural Health is undertaking Stage 2 of the project 'To strengthen support for clients having palliative care in Gippsland'. This project will support generalist health professionals to deliver a consistent and evidence based approach to symptom management for clients having palliative care, specifically in the after-hours period. 

An electronic adaptation of the  ‘GRPCC Telephone Triage Tool’ has been developed and the roll out of this project  across Gippsland will commence in August 2020.  An online learning package has been developed and will be made available on the GRPCC website soon.

We are very excited to see the further development, implementation and evaluation of this tool.

Palliative Care Professional Development and Skills Matrix in the Acute Setting

All health services in Gippsland have been offered the opportunity to take part in the Palliative Care Professional Development and Skills Matrix project in both community and now the acute setting.  The GRPCC COP has devised a suite of questions relating to relevant skills for end of life care and palliative care in the acute setting. A number of health services have taken up this opportunity and in total 77 nursing staff working in the acute and sub-acute environment have completed the Survey Monkey questionnaire.  This survey will allow nurses to rate their capability from novice through to expert in performing nursing skills and tasks that maybe required in palliative and end of life care.  It will also assist to identify strengths and gaps in service delivery (individually and from a service perspective).

Work is now underway to provide participants with their de-identified individual reports and learning opportunities booklet, and health services with a report on the strengths and gaps within their department, to assist in professional development goals and succession planning for career development. 

If you would like to take part in this exciting piece of work please ask your manager to contact Melissa at the GRPCC on
Palliative Care News
Palliative Care Advice Line

In May 2020, the Victoria Government launched the new telephone ‘Palliative Care Advice Service’ that is available to all Victorians.  The GRPCC has worked with DHHS to support the initial roll out in Gippsland.
The telephone advice service is available to people living with life-limiting illnesses and the people who support them including  family, friends or neighbours, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers and providers.  It provides to opportunity to speak with a palliative care nurse or doctor regarding any aspect of care of life-limiting illnesses.The service is an addition to the services provided by local palliative care service, hospital or GP.

Presently the Palliative Care Advice service is open from 7am - 10pm 7 days a week.  It is planned to become a 24 hour advice service in the near future.

Dying to Know Day 
8th August 2020

Dying To Know Day (August 8th) is an annual day of action dedicated to initiating conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement.  

Visit the Groundswell Project website for more information.
On the 'Virtual' Couch
with Melissa Spargo


Getting to know our palliative care people

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Teacher

Favourite holiday destination? Bright.  It is so beautiful up there, I love the hiking and the kids and hubby love the mountain bike riding

Buried, cremated or snap-frozen? Cremated, for sure

What will be written on your headstone?  I don’t need a headstone,  I would rather my ashes be scattered somewhere beautiful in nature

Music at your funeral? Carrie Underwood - Whenever you remember

What would your last outfit be? I don’t care, I’ll be dead

What are you reading now? Reading, ha, I wish. I have 3 young kids and am working 3 days a week, no time for reading.  One day hopefully

What would you have for your last meal? Roast chicken with roast potatoes and cheesy cauliflower bake and apple pie for dessert

Which famous person would you like to invite to dinner? I can’t be bothered having a famous person over for dinner, sounds like a lot of work.  I would rather a fun night with my family and friends eating takeaway pizza and have drinks

What lessons has your work life taught you?  That I am a lot more capable of things then I often give myself credit for
Interesting Articles
Other Palliative Care eNewsletters
Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group

EOL Essentials Project News

PalliAGED News

CareSearch Updates

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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Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium · c/- West Gippsland Healthcare Group · 41 Landsborough Road · Warragul, Vic 3820 · Australia

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