GRPCC eNews No51 - December 2021
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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 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
The GRPCC team would like to wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and all good things for a Healthy and Prosperous 2022.

Thank you all for your valuable engagement, support and assistance throughout the challenging twelve months of 2021.

We look forward to working together to continue to improve Palliative Care in Gippsland in  2022.

Cheers  Anny, Carol , Melissa 
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 source and provide clinical practice guidelines and documents to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care.

For a full list of CPG Guidelines please visit the GRPCC website
The importance of evidence based practice cannot be underestimated in the palliative care environment, whether in the community, in residential aged care, and the inpatient setting.
Education & Webinars
Transition to Specialty Palliative Care

Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium (GRPCC) and Palliative Care South East (PCSE) have partnered with Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to develop and deliver the ‘Transition to Specialty Palliative Care’ course. The goal is to support participants to undertake formal recognised education and development in a supportive environment, which leads to a specialist qualification.
This course will have a mixed mode of delivery, and will include online learning, reflective practice activities, online assessments, and face to face workshops. The content covers symptom management, use of clinical practice guidelines including the physical and psychosocial impacts of life limiting illness on patients, carers and family. Strategies are explored to develop skills in appropriate evidence based care to enable the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.  
Applications are now open for the 2022 intake and further.  Click on the link below to view the course course outline or application form.  If you have any further questions please contact Kelly Rogerson at or Anny Byrne on 5623 0684 or

'Palliative Care Professional Development Opportunities' Booklet 

As a part of the Skills Matrix Project, a Palliative Care Professional Development Opportunities booklet was  developed to assist health professionals to respond to their self-assessment of their palliative care skills and knowledge.

The booklet  provides a list of palliative care resources, websites and education available to assist health professionals to develop their palliative care skill set in accordance with the National Palliative Care Standards. 

The GRPCC 'Palliative Care Professional Development Opportunities Booklet’ updated for 2021/22 is available on the GRPCC website.
Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) training for General Practitioners?
In-person and online training days 2022

An opportunity exists for GP's to undertake voluntary assisted dying training. On successful completion, GP's will be able to provide assessments for patients seeking voluntary assisted dying.  This training provided by DHHS is also available online.

Click here view the 2022 training dates and registration links
Time of Dying Webinar Series

In October 2022,   The GRPCC partnered with Gippsland Primary Healthcare Network to develop the 'Time of Dying' series presented by Dr. Melanie Benson, Palliative Care Physician and John Reeves, Clinical Psychologist.

The four one-hour online sessions discussed Diagnosing Dying, Anticipatory Prescribing, Communication Challenges in Palliative Care, and EOL Discussions and Management Decisions, and Plans in the Dying Time – Palliative Sedation.  The series concluded with an e-forum.  

Recordings of the webinars are available to view at anytime by clicking the topic below and on the GRPCC website.

Motor Neurone Disease

Assistive Technologies used to support people with MND

In October 2021, the GRPCC engaged with Jessica Moller, Occupational Therapist at Gippsland Lakes Complete Health to host a webinar for nurses, community and residential aged care workers, who care for people with MND.  

Topics covered included:

  • Assistive Technologies used to support people with MND
  • Working together through changing assistive technology needs
  • Where and how assistive technologies can be used
  • Strategies to support personal care routines and managing fatigue

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar 

Project Updates

Palliative Care Learning Package

The GRPCC has developed a Palliative Care Learning Package designed to assist generalist nursing staff to work toward and attain skills required to care for patients receiving palliative and end of life care, in the community, inpatient, or residential aged care settings. There are four modules to this learning package. The modules  may provide an orientation or refresher for acute and community  nurses seeking continuing professional development in palliative care, and / or support graduate nurse in the development of skills and knowledge in caring for people with life limiting illness, and in the terminal phase.  

The learning package will be made available in early 2022 on the GRPCC website

Strengthening support for palliative care clients in Gippsland   – Implementation of the Telephone Triage Tool

The GRPCC, in collaboration with the Gippsland Primary Health Network and Monash School of Rural Health,  is nearing completion of  the Telephone Triage Tool Project.  This project supports  generalist health professionals to deliver a consistent and evidence based approach to symptom management for clients with palliative care symptoms, in a range of settings.  

 The tools, developed for the three different settings ( community palliative care, primary health , and aged care settings),  have been used more than 120 times in the clinical setting in 2021, and analysis of data generated by the call summaries is underway.  Analysis will predominantly look  at how nurses are using the tools, characteristics of calls, time of day, and outcomes of calls or use of the tool. Although the project is finishing on 31st December, 2021, the tools will continue to be available, and data analysis on the use of the tools will continue by the GRPCC and Monash. Ongoing support will be provided to organisations and facilities who have implemented the tools.

If you would like further information on how the Palliative Care Telephone Triage Tool is being used in Gippsland, please contact  Carol Barbeler at the GRPCC.

Transition to Specialty Palliative Care Practice

In 2021,  The ‘Transition to Specialty Palliative Care Practice’ (TSP) was developed by Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium (GRPCC) and Palliative Care South East (PCSE), in collaboration with the Australian (ACN). The course was designed for RNs working in a community or an inpatient setting wanting to advance their palliative care knowledge.  The pilot program, was run over seven sessions (each 6 weeks apart) with mentoring and support for participants from leaders across the palliative care sector. 

13 of the 14 participants completed the academic requirements for the unit ‘Principles of Palliative Care Nursing’ in the Graduate Certificate of Palliative Care and many nurses have successfully implemented their quality improvement projects.  The nurses have spoken about their increased confidence to undertake new positions, projects and activities particularly around quality improvement activities and advocacy.

Work is underway in preparing an improved program for 2022 with applications to open in late December.  

Palliative Care News
Flying Doctor Memory Lane

For people in end of life or palliative care, a simple chance to reconnect with their lives, families and friends can mean the world. The Flying Doctor Memory Lane service supports people to visit a place of personal significance; to admire their own garden, to feel the breeze of the seaside, or to be surrounded by their loved ones and pets.  The Memory Lane vehicles enable people in end of life care to overcome access barriers, visiting a place that holds meaning safely and comfortably. The Royal Flying Doctor Service's expertise in transporting people to access needed health and well-being services means that they are well-placed to deliver on our commitment.

Flying Doctor Memory Lane relies on service providers to share information about this free service and to help arrange transports for your clients. To help you to share the details of this new service with your clients and colleagues in a variety of ways. The Royal Flying Doctor Service have developed a Digital Support Pack with some fantastic resources to promote the service across your network.

Click here to be directed the the Flying Doctor Memory Lane website
Building your own resilience, health and wellbeing

'The Building your own Resilience, Health and Wellbeing Booklet' was developed by Skills for Care UK  and provides information to help clinicians understand what resilience is and why it matters. It includes several tasks/activities to help the participant reflect on what they are learning, and think about how it can be used to improve own health and wellbeing. 

Contents include:
  • Understanding what resilience is and why it matters
  • Recongnising and coping with pressure and stress
  • Personal development to build your own resilience health and wellbeing.

Click here to view the  Building your own resilience, health and wellbeing booklet
Reframing Palliative Care to Improve the Quality of Life of People Diagnosed with Serious Illness
Access to palliative care is a human right and palliative care has demonstrable benefits for patients, their family and the health care system when provided earlier on in the course of serious illness. Yet most people living with serious illness are unable to access the high quality palliative care they deserve.
Academics from The Centre for Palliative Care, c/o St Vincent’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne have  developed a strategy and recommendations for reframing palliative care in an attempt to help address this issue.
The  open access article  published in the Medical Journal of Australia is available via :
Improving the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer and their family carer across Australia 

A highly esteemed National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) grant has been awarded to Professor Peter Hudson, Director of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s Centre for Palliative Care, to undertake research to improve palliative care in Australia. The project, “FOCUSau”, will aim to provide support to patients with advanced cancer and their primary carers and improve their emotional wellbeing and quality of life through an innovative digital health program.  Traditionally, support strategies have focused on the patient and their carer separately. This project is novel as it will target the patient and their primary support person together, and the digital support method will enhance access across the country. Professor Hudson and his team which includes Professor Jennifer Philip (also based at St Vincent’s)  and research colleagues from interstate, USA and Belgium, will not only  test the effectiveness of  “FOCUSau”  but also explore if it can be readily implemented across Australia.

For more information please email 
Interesting Articles and Papers
Homelessness and palliative care – the film

Click here to view a new film about palliative care and homelessness, commissioned by St Ann's Hospice which shares the experiences of professionals across the sectors and people affected by homelessness.

“I may not be with you, but I’m holding your hand”: What has COVID taught us about telehealth in palliative care?

Article by Monica Bason-Flaquer for EACP Blog

In March 2020, Marie Curie’s nine hospices stopped in-person outpatient and day services in response to the national lockdown in the United Kingdom. Outpatient consultations initially transitioned to telephone, coupled with some face-to-face community visits where clinically required. Telephone consultations represented 77 per cent of all outpatient consultations in 2020/2021, 53 per cent greater than the previous year. (click here to read more)

Other Palliative Care eNewsletters
End of Life Essentials Project News - December 2021

PalliAged News - December 2021

CareSearch - December 2021
CareSearch - November 2021

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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