GRPCC eNews No45 - October 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 here to subscribe

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 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 guidelines to view

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 face to face 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 using virtual platforms.  We will keep you posted.
Time of Dying  Webinar Series

The success in 2018 & 2019 of the Time of Dying forums has led to the evolution of these forums to a virtual platform. The Time of Dying Forums, hosted by Gippsland Primary Healthcare Network and the GRPCC, will be sectioned into four, one-hour sessions presented over four weeks in October 2020.

Diagnosing Dying
This webinar was presented by Dr. Melanie Benson, Palliative Care Physician on Tuesday 13th October. She explored the challenges and opportunities in identifying illness trajectories, the importance of pattern recognition and identifying transition points that will impact on clinical decision making, guide important discussions and plan for future care.

Registrations exceeded expectations and almost 100 people zoomed in to listen to the fantastic presentation and ask questions. Initial feedback from attendees was very encouraging. 
Click here to view the full webinar recording
Anticipatory Prescribing
Presented by Dr Melanie Benson
Tuesday 20th October 6.30 – 7.30pm
Click here to register 
A Walk on the Webside: Communication Challenges in Palliative Care & EOL Discussions
Presented by Clinical Psychologist John Reeves
Wednesday 21st October  6.30 – 7.30pm
Click here to register 

Management Decisions & Plans in the Dying Time – Palliative Sedation
presented by Dr Melanie Benson
Tuesday 27th October 6.30 – 7.30pm
Click here to register 

These fourms will be broadcast live via Zoom with a Q&A session at the completion. The presentations will also provide information on the GPHN health pathways, the GRPCC CPG guidelines, the Gippsland Regional Consultancy Service and to local palliative care services.
Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consultancy Service Monthly Education

Clinical staff involved in delivering community or inpatient palliative care are invited to participate in a morning education session faciliated by the Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consultancy Service (GRPCCS).

We will be running monthly palliative care education sessions until the end of the year. These will be held via ZOOM

Palliative care assessment & Palliative Triage  
Friday 16th October 2.00 - 3.00pm

Recognising and managing palliative care emergencies
Friday 20th November 2.00 - 3.00pm     

Grief and Bereavement & Caring for carers
Friday 18th December 2.00 - 3.00pm

Contact Elise Witts, GRPCCS Palliative Care Nurse Coordinator at to register your interest for any of these workshops.
Cultural diversity and palliative care - Short Series

Improve your knowledge and skill around cultural diversity in the palliative care context.   Come and join Tanja Bahro, manager of the Southern Metro Palliative Care Consortium  for a free  50-minute online session.  Suitable for palliative care, acute and aged care clinicians.

Cultural diversity essentials
Wednesday 21 Oct 1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register

Cross cultural communication and introduction to working with interpreters
Thursday 29 Oct 2pm – 2:50pm
Click here to register

Cultural diversity and health
Tuesday 3 Nov   1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register

Health literacy and palliative care
Wednesday 11 Nov   2pm – 2:50pm
Click here to register

Working with culturally diverse teams
Friday 20 Nov   1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register
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 format of the  ‘GRPCC Telephone Triage Tool’ has been developed and the roll out of this project  is underway across Gippsland. The first setting for implementation of the tool is  in health and community services, and bush nursing centres that provide community palliative care, with the tool supporting practice in the after hours period. The research component for the project has gained ethics approval from all three research councils and committees across Gippsland. 

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

The GRPCC website is currently being updated  to allow users quicker and easier access to a range of palliative care resources.   

The website contains information for clients and carers and health professionals, as well as a directory to local palliative care services in Gippsland and details about the GRPCC.

Click here to visit the GRPCC website. 
Palliative Care News

CareSearch launches national Part of Life campaign

CareSearch has launched a national campaign designed to increase community awareness of palliative care as well as highlighting a host of free resources and information anyone can access.
The Part of Life campaign encourages all Australians to learn, care, and plan for death and dying.
The campaign launch follows significant work by CareSearch and its partners to assist health professionals and community members with access to quality information. 

“Death and dying will affect all of us. It’s a part of life. And that means everyone has a role to play in palliative care,” CareSearch Director Professor Jennifer Tieman said.
“CareSearch provides evidence, information, and practical palliative care resources for everyone involved in providing care or supporting people at the end of life.”
Under the National Palliative Care Strategy, six guiding principles have been identified as fundamental to ensure that all people experience the palliative care they need.
The CareSearch Part of Life campaign therefore highlights six important elements of palliative care, including that palliative care is person-centred care; that care is accessible; and that everyone has a role.
“What we are hoping to achieve through this campaign is two-fold; we want to further support health professionals through easy access to quality information and we also want to lift community literacy as a way to encourage advance planning,” Professor Tieman said.
To explore the Part of Life campaign, please visit



Palliative Care Advice Service

The Palliative Care Advice Service is a telephone advice service that is being test implemented in the Gippsland and North & West Regions. 

The Palliative Care 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 the 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.  

On the 'Virtual' Couch

Getting to know our palliative care people

Trish O'Kelly

Director of Nursing and Midwifery 

West Gippsland Healthcare Group

1. What did you want to be when you grew up? Don’t laugh but when I was growing up in Ireland I wanted to be a nun! After a few years of living in OZ I wanted to be an actress which my parents frowned upon so I followed in my mum and sisters footsteps and became a nurse. I grew up  in a nursing home which my parents owned so I think nursing was in my blood from a very young age.

2. Favourite holiday destination?
I just recently got back from Antarctica and it was the best most crazy (and expensive) experience of my life!

3. Buried, cremated or snap-frozen?
Hmmm never knew snapped frozen was an option?? I’ll stick with being buried.

4. What will be written on your headstone?  
Here lays a kind hearted soul who strived every day to be just that little bit better than the day before. And also told terrible dad jokes

5. Music at your funeral?
There’s a beautiful song by an Irish Folk band The Fureys called “Sweet Sixteen” it was my parents song. My dad was a musician but could hardly read or write and the story goes he stayed up all night long learning this song playing it over and over again so he could play it for my mum. It was played at both their funerals so it’s very close to my heart

6. What would your last outfit be?
As glamourous as I could get away with! Don’t save your jewels or fancy glad rags for a special occasion – every day we wake up is worth celebrating.

7. ‘What are you reading now?
Lots of policies and procedures as I’m still pretty new to WGHG. But I am half way through “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

8. What would you have for your last meal?
Chocolate – Freddo Frogs to be precise and a glass of the most ridiculously expensive champagne you could find.

9. Which famous person would you like to invite to dinner?
I am in awe of a Professor call Zawi Hawass who is an Egyptian Archaeologist and I love all things Egypt!

10. What lessons has your work life taught you? 
I am a big believer in finding Silver Linings in absolutely everything that happens to you in life. You may not always see these silver linings at the time but there are certainly lessons to be learnt. If you haven’t found them yet you are still on the road to learning.
Interesting Articles
Other Palliative Care eNewsletters
EOL Essentials Project News - September

CareSearch - October

PalliAGED News - October 

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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