GRPCC eNews No37 - February 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
    • GRPCC - The year ahead
  • Education and events
    • Palliative Care Essentials 1-day Short Course
    • Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Short Courses
    • Centre for Palliative Care Hot Topic - Aboriginal peoples concept of life - death - life
    • PEPA GP Online Learning
    • National Advance Care Planning Week
    • National Palliative Care Week 
    • Oceanic Palliative Care Conference
  • Resources and information 
    • ELDAC - Legal Toolkits
    • Navigating post-death procedures and formalities
  • In the news/ research
    • Don't Use the 'D' Word: Exploring Myths about Children and Death
    • Why greater investment in palliative care could lead to economic benefits
    • Disen-whaaaat?? Understanding Disenfranchised Grief
  • Newsletters

A month in review  

December and January continues to be busy with only a short break for the staff at the GRPCC.  Work continues on Gippsland's report for the  'Statewide (regional consortia) Pathways to Palliative Care in Rural Victoria' project'.  A report is being collated from the survey responses received late last year, consultation with palliative care providers and desktop reviews of previous reports. It will articulate what is working well in Gippsland, as well as enabling a summary of challenges and barriers in accessing palliative care services (including respite) in rural and regional Victoria.  A final statewide report will be submitted to the Department of Health in the coming months.

The online surveys for the Palliative Care Professional Development and Skills Matrix project are now closed. Overwhelmingly, 75% of district and palliative care nurses working across Gippsland completed the survey. Individual reports will be forwarded to palliative care service managers for distribution to their staff and for discussion on professional development and learning goals. All de-identified data has been forwarded to Monash University Department of Rural and Indigenous Health, who will collate the information and provide each health service with a detailed report to ensure education and learning opportunities are directed to maximise the skill and knowledge development of the staff. Thank you to the Gippsland Nurses! Good job!

Extensive work has been carried out on the GRPCC CPG guidelines and all guidelines have now been reviewed and updated.  They are currently in the process of final endorsement from the Expert Advisory Group, Clinical Practice Group and Consortium Managers Group and will be made available shortly on the GRPCC website.

The year ahead

2019 will be the year of collaborations for the GRPCC, with some very exciting educational opportunities coming to Gippsland. 

In response to the data from the skills matrix, we have been busy liaising with Banksia Palliative Care to offer generalist nurses in Gippsland the opportunity to attend a 1 day short courses on the palliative care essentials in either Bairnsdale or Warragul in June.  we have also been in discussion with Centre for Palliative Care regarding the possibility of modules of specialist palliative care certificate to be delivered in Gippsland.  Watch this space!

Initial discussion regarding Safer Care Victoria partnering with the GRPCC, GRPPCS, GRICS and Gippsland PHN to hold a palliative care forum in Gippsland on  the 25th June in Traralgon. More details to follow.

Our long standing relationship with Monash School of Rural Health continues, and the GRPCC will provide communication skills workshops to 4th year medical students in East, West and South Gippsland. Communication Skills workshops will also be delivered to Primary Healthcare providers with the support on the Gippsland PHN. 

Following the success of the 'Time for Dying' workshops held across Gippsland late last year, we will work closely again with the Gippsland PHN to run similar workshops in the second half of the year.

Palliative Care Victoria and PEPA will also be holding workshops in Gippsland in the later half of 2019. As always, we encourage anyone interested in doing a PEPA placement to register their interest at

Make sure to keep an eye out for our bi-monthly enewsletter, or the GRPCC website and facebook page for details on all of these opportunities.

Education & Events

Palliative Care Essentials 1-day Short Course

Banksia’s comprehensive 1-day short course for Registered and Enrolled Nurses, working in the acute or community settings with an interest in palliative care, provides all 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

Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Short Courses 

The Centre for Palliative Care at St Vincent’s Hospital, in partnership with The University of Melbourne, has developed a range of short courses that focus on preparing all health professionals for the core aspects of palliative care provision.

The multidisciplinary short courses cover a variety of topics, and health professionals are welcome to register for one or more of the courses. All courses are evidence based and delivered by a broad range of presenters, who are specialists in their field.

  • Palliative Care: the Essentials 7 & 8 February, 2019
  • Historical, Theoretical and Developmental Perspectives on Bereavement 21 & 22 February, 2019
  • Pain Assessment and Management in Palliative Care 18 July, 2019
  • Symptom Management in Adult Palliative Care 19 July 2019
  • Clinical Ethics - the Basics 8 August, 2019
  • "Doing" Ethics 9 August, 2019
  • Communicating Ethically 12 August, 2019
  • Incorporating Ethics into your daily Practice 13 August, 2019
  • Identification, Assessment and Management of Distress 15 & 16 August , 2019
  • Management of Imminent Death in Complex Cases 19 August, 2019
  • Special and At Risk Populations. Working with Other Professionals 20 August, 2019
Cost One day course 450 + GST
         Two day course $900 + GST
Click here to visit the Melbourne Uni website for more details and to register

Centre for Palliative Care Hot Topic
Aboriginal peoples concept of life - death - life

What do you think it is you know about Victorian Aboriginal people, Spirituality and the end of life journey?

Come along and here what you should know in providing Aboriginal people cultural dignity for when they are ready to pass over into dreaming

Date:       Wednesday 27 March
Time:       5.00 - 8.00
Cost:        Free
Location: Michael Chamberlin Lecture Theatre
                 Building E  St Vincents Hospital
                 41 Victoria Street

Click here to register

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

National Advance Care Planning Week 
1 - 5 April 2019

National Advance Care Planning Week 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

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


ELDAC - Legal Toolkits

The Legal Toolkit provides practical information about the law at end of life for the aged care sector. It contains useful resources on end of life legal issues commonly encountered in aged care to help you to know the law and to support your practice

Click here visit the ELDAC website

Navigating post-death procedures and formalities

As a way of supporting recently bereaved families navigate post-death formalities, COTA Victoria has produced a booklet entitled 'Death of a Partner: a practical guide for partners and families'

Some of the aspects explored in this guide include:

  • Timeline of things to do after the death of a partner
  • What to do immediately, and the first few days, after the death
  • Funeral, burial or cremation: your choices
  • Settling your partner’s estate
  • Finances after the death of a partner
  • Providing notification of a death and getting help
  • Accessing and closing online accounts
  • Looking after yourself after a death
  • Sample letter for notification of death
Click here view Death of a Partner: a practical guide for partners and families
In the News / Research

Don't Use the 'D' Word: Exploring Myths about Children and Death
Article by Andrea Warnick RN, MA for the Canadian Virtual Hospice

Dying and death are natural processes in the circle of life. Yet, our experiences of these processes have changed dramatically over the last century. Most responsible for this change is the advancement of modern medicine. We have come to expect that new drugs and treatments will save our loved ones. But when death occurs, we see it as a medical failure, not as a natural process. This myth, that death is primarily a medical event as opposed to a natural one, can contribute greatly to the alienation of individuals who are dying, and deeply affect those who are grieving.

Children experiencing the dying of someone close to them are particularly vulnerable. Many myths adults hold about children’s ability to cope with death can make children feel alone and alienated. Although current research advises being honest and inclusive with children, these myths permeate the health care disciplines. As a result, families are often prevented from receiving the guidance they need. Here are five common myths adults often hold about children and death. [read more]
Why greater investment in palliative care could lead to economic benefits
Article by Ben O’Mara for Palliative Care Australia

The potential savings on medical costs could make a big difference for relieving pressure on Australia’s health systems and residential facilities, says Ben O’Mara.

The new Aged Care Standards recently released by the Australian Government could have helped reduce the costs of end-of-life support and help more elderly people deal with a terminal illness, but did not mention the role of palliative care in aged care facilities. The omission is a lost opportunity.

According to Palliative Care Australia, 35 per cent of all deaths in Australia occurred in residential aged care between 2014-15. Of all the permanent residents who died, only a small number received a formal assessment noting that they required palliative care.

Palliative care can make a big and positive difference to the lives of elderly people and their families and carers, helping them live more fully and as comfortably as possible until death. [ read more]
Disen-whaaaat?? Understanding Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised grief: you may have heard this term thrown around and wondered what it is all about. We pride ourselves on breaking down the abstract into the practical and disenfranchised grief is an example of a very real, everyday experience that can sound very abstract and academic. It has a crazy name and is often talked about in academic articles rather than in real-life settings. But knowing what disenfranchised grief is all about may help you put a name to some things you have been experiencing in your own world after a death. Even if it doesn’t relate to you specifically, it may make you a better friend or support to another griever.

Okay, so what is this crazy term all about. If one is disenfranchised they are deprived a right to something, and intuitively (if you have never suffered this sort of loss) it may seem strange to imagine how one could be deprived the right to grieve. Grief is personal, right? We say that all the time. So, who could possibly deprive me my right to do something so personal? [read more]

PEPA AGED CARE NEWSLETTER - Edition #55 January 2019
PalliAGED News - January 2019
Safer Care enews - #7 | 30 January 2019
EOL Essentials Project News - EDITION 32 - February 2019
@CARESEARCH - December 2018

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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