GRPCC eNews No42 - March 2020
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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-

What a whirlwind start to 2020 it has been for the GRPCC and the Gippsland region generally

With so much education going on in the region it has been exciting to offer new learning opportunities for health professionals from various disciplines working with patients at their end of life.
In particular,  31 nurses working with haemodialysis patients from across Gippsland and the South East suburbs attended one of three Palliative Approach and Communication Skills workshops funded by PEPA which were very well received and highly evaluated.
Once again the Communication skills workshops, facilitated by John Reeves (clinical physiologist), Veronica Porcaro (trained simulation actor) and Anny Byrne (RN and GRPCC Manager), are part way through their regional roadshow.  They have provided 7 communication skills training workshops to health professionals so far with 11 more workshops booked for this half on 2020 including providing 3 workshops in Buchan to the Bush Nursing services. 7 workshops for year 4C medical students at Monash School of Rural Health.  If you are interested in participating in Communication skills training, please speak to your manager or contact the GRPCC. 
After the positive evaluation of the Palliative Care Essentials workshops held in 2019 and in response to gaps identified in the skills matrix project, the GRPCC again commissioned Banksia Palliative Care to provide palliative care training in Gippsland.  Two introductory workshops were held in Leongatha and Traralagon with 50 people attending across the two days, and an additional two intermediate workshops held in Warragul and Bairnsdale with 59 attendees.  Premilinary discussions are commencing with the Centre of Palliative Care to look at the possibility of providing the Specialist Certificate of Palliative Care in Gippsland in 2021. 
Project Updates
GRPCC Professional Development and Skill Matrix Resource Tool  - PD SMaRT

After many months of hard work the GRPCC is proud and excited to share the first  edition of the  2019 GRPCC Professional Development  Skill Matrix Resource Tool  - PD SMaRT -   for Palliative Care Nurses.   This tool kit is a 'how to' guide for palliative care services outside Gippsland wanting to replicate the Professional Development Framework & Skills Matrix Project for Community Palliative Care Nurses, which was rolled out in Gippsland in late 2018.  The PD SMaRT Kit includes survey and information templates, as well as step by step instructions for conducting the surveys and building reports. Already considerable interest has been shown in adoption the project by other regions including Hume and South East Palliative Care. Click here for  more information about this tool or call the GRPCC.  
PD SMaRT- for Acute Nurses

Stage 2 of the Professional Development and Skill Matrix for Palliative Care Nurses Project is to currently being rolled out to nurses providing end of life and palliative care in the Acute setting.  DON&Ms, Clinical Educators and NUMs in health services across Gippsland have been contacted and offered the opportunity for nursing staff working in acute settings to undertake a short survey, to self-assess their skills to perform palliative care related tasks.  Upon completion of the survey participants will receive de-identified individual  feedback report of their self-rated learning opportunities, and managers will receive a report on the strengths and gaps within their department.  If your health service is yet to take up this excellent oportunity, please contact Anny Byrne or Melissa Spargo on 5623 0684.
Strengthening support for clients having palliative care in Gippsland (Stage 2)

The GRPCC is working in collaboration with  the Gippsland PHN and Monash School of Rural Health, to undertake Stage 2 of the 'Strengthening support for clients having palliative care in Gippsland' project.   Over the next 16 months, the GRPCC will work to modify the existing ‘GRPCC Telephone Triage Tool’ into an electronic tool to improve the consistency of clinical response of generalist health professionals, and decrease the unwanted variability in care, for people who have palliative care symptomology, in the after- hours’ time period.  The project will also extend the use of the tool to other clinical settings including; Primary Care;  Residential Aged Care; and Emergency Departments.  

In February, the project leads met with a small number of  Practice Nurses from across Gippsland, to assess the suitability of GRPCC Telephone Triage Tool for use in General Practices and to discuss changes needed for the applicability.  
Deceased Resident File Audit

The Deceased Resident File Audit in RACF project commenced in 2016, and over 75% of RACF's in Gippsland having now undertaken an audit. These audits assist in identifying current palliative care practices in the RACF's, focusing on a ‘palliative approach key process recommendation for the palliative approach to care.   The audit tool has been recently revised and follow-up audits are underway to identify any shift in practice.  25% of RACF's in Gippsland have already completed the follow-up audit.  Further work commenced on the planning for sustainability of identified changes in the Aged Care sector. 
CPG Guidelines
The GRPCC Clinical Practice Group (CPG) has produced multiple clinical guidelines and documents 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

Subcutaneous Drug Infusion Compatibility Guideline and chart
Dyspnoea (Breathlessness) management flow chart
Management of clients with automatic defibrillators and pacemakers

For a full list of CPG Guidelines please visit the GRPCC website
Click here to visit the GRPCC website
Upcoming Education
Due to COVID-19 virus pandemic, in response to DHHS guidelines, all non-essential education has been postponed .  The GRPCC will continue with meetings via Zoom or teleconference and are looking at a workaround to provide more education through Telehealth / Zoom,.  Watch this space.
Palliative Care News


National Palliative Care Week, 24 - 30 May 2020

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

In 2020, National Palliative Care Week themed Palliative Care – It’s more than you think. will be held from Sunday 24 May – Saturday 30 May.  

Resources and Articles

Coronavirus & Volunteers: Your Guide for Managing Uncertainty 

The global COVID-19 virus outbreak has reached pandemic proportions and has been slowly, but persistently pulling at the social structures and everyday lives of citizens around the world. The Coronavirus is impacting volunteerism, too.  [read more]

Improving palliative and end-of-life care for rural and remote Australians 
Article by Sarah Wenhama,c, Melissa Cumminga and Emily Saurmanb

Recent reports highlight an inconsistent provision of palliative and end-of-life (palliative) care across Australia, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas. Palliative care improves quality of life and the experience of dying, and all people should have equitable access to quality needs-based care as they approach and reach the end of their lives. A palliative approach to care is crucial in rural and remote Australia where there is a reliance for such care on generalist providers amid the challenges of a limited workforce, poorer access, and vast geography [read more]
Advance Care Planning Australia Position Statement: ACDs within community and Residential aged care
In Australia, there is significant aged care legislation, policy, regulation and services reform underway to promote quality and safe aged care. The reform of aged care promotes many improvements including enhanced choice and control in decision-making for older Australians, and has focused attention on advance care planning and Advance Care Directives for health and aged care services.  
Click here to view ACPA Position Statement: ACDs within community and residential aged care
Spirituality, poetry and palliative care 
Spirituality, poetry and palliative care looks at how people deal with crisis and suffering when confronted with life-threatening disease. Dr Frank Brennan, a palliative care physician from Australia, explains the importance of language in our daily work and how, in times of sorrow, grief and perplexity, we reach beyond the everyday into poetry, music and art. [read more]

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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