GRPCC eNews 27 - October 2017
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Life and Death Matters 

The GRPCC eNews Life & Death Matters will be sent out monthly to provide you with current information about the work being carried out by the GRPCC and its members, as well as 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 the subscribe button below
Welcome to this enewsletter-
    • GRPCC A month in review
    • GRPCC website
    • Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines
  • Education and events
    • GRPCCS Palliative Care Day Seminar
    • Gippsland Palliative Care Seminar
    • Advance Care Planning Seminar
  • Resources and information 
    • A summary of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016
    • Changes to advance care directives — Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic)
    • The Best Death: How to Die Well
    • Improving the Texture Modified Diet 
  • In the news/ research
    • When life is coming to a close: three common myths about dying           
    • Palliative Wound Care: A New Frontier
    • Westernised systems of palliative care can be problematic, conference is told
    • The sacred task of caring for the dead should be a normal part of life
    • Why Grief Is A Series of Contractions and Expansions
  • Newsletters
    • Residential Aged Care Communique
  • National Awareness Weeks
    • National Carers Week

A month in review 

Full Steam ahead for the GRPCC team in September.   The 2016-17 Annual Report has been completed and submitted to the Department of Health and Human Servics.  It will be available to view on the GRPCC website in November.
The final two advance practice PEPA workshops were held in Warragul and Traralgon, in September, totaling four workshops across the region.  Thirty-eight RN's and EN's from RACF's across Gippsland attended the workshops and feedback was very positive.  A big thank you to PEPA for providing financial support, and to the hosting facilities; Banfields Aged Care; Yallambee Aged Care; the Petit Centre, Warragul; and Lake View Aged Care

The GRPCC Education Support Funding 2017 packages have all  been announced, congratulations to the successful applicants and we look forward to receiving your evaluations when your study is complete.

Carol has been busy working with RACF's in Gippsland to complete deceased resident file audit.  The deceased resident file audit is used to identify current practice and opportunities for improvement in palliative approach activities, and to assist the GRPCC to offer targetted education to RACF's.  A further two RACF's completed the audit in September and Carol is now busy drafting their personalised report.  Over 40% of RACF's in Gippsland have now completed an audit.  For further information or to arrange a deceased resident file audit in your RACF's, please contact Carol Barbeler, Palliative Aged Care and Disability Resource Nurse.
GRPCC website   

A new GRPCC website is currently under construction. The new design will provided users with more streamlined access to all the valuablel tools that the GRPCC has to offer.

The existing GRPCC website  is still available in the interim with all the useful documents and links that we have previously provided to you. Please be aware that the website is not formatted as usually and may appear messy.  We appreciate your patience during this time.
Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines

The GRPCC Clinical Practice Group (CPG) has produced multiple 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. We will be featuring one of the guidelines each newsletter. This month highlights the Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines

To view the  Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines and other CPG endorsed Guidelines click on the buttons below.
Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines
GRPCC CPG Guidelines
Education and Events

GRPCCS Palliative Care Day Seminar

The Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consultancy Service would like to invite health and allied health staff involved in delivering community or inpatient palliative care  to participate in a full day Palliative Care seminar in Warragul.

Topics covered will include;
- Current issues in palliative care
- Symptom management
- Caring for caregivers and family
- Self care and mindfulness

Date       Tuesday 10th October
Time       9.30am– 3.30pm (registrations open at 9.00am)
Venue    West Gippsland Health Group
               Seminar Room
Cost       Free
Enquiries MaryAnn Bills  
                  Irene Murphy GRPCCS   
Click here to register

Gippsland Palliative Care Seminar   

The Monash Health Supportive & Palliative Care Unit, would like to invite  GP's, physicians, nursing and community palliative care staff to attend a full day seminar on Palliative Care.

Topics covered will include;
- Incident pain - including rapid onset opioids
- Advances in oncological immunotherapy
- Telehealth palliative care – Update on Gippsland study
- Oncological pain management – interventional analgesia and spinal augmentation
- Update - Delirium in palliative care

Date       Saturday 21st October  
Time       9.30am– 4.00pm
Venue    Bridges on Argyle
               84 - 90 Argyle Street
Cost       Free
Enquiries Linda Jay (03) 9594 5347 or el

Click here to view flyer

Advance Care Planning Seminar  
For General Practitioners, Practice Nurses, Practice Managers, Hospital Medical Officers, Medical Students, Allied Health and Pharmacists.

A collaboration between Gippsland Primary Health Network, GRPCCS, and Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium present this education session on Advance Care Planning (ACP).  


  • Support existing efforts in implementing advance care planning;
  • Simplify the existing legal framework for medical treatment decision making and ensure statutory recognition of advance care directives for current and future conditions in clinical practice;
  • Assist medical, nursing and other health professionals to acquire skills in ACP processes, systems and documentation, including strategies to open and facilitate end of life care discussions with patients and families; and
  • Provide strategies for effective communication with patients caregivers and families about:
    • Making an advance care directive
    • Appointing a substitute decision maker
Date      Thursday 2nd November
Time      6.30pm - 9.30 pm (Registrations open from 6.00pm)
Venue    Century Inn
Cost       Free (2 course dinner provided)
Click here to view flyer
Click here to register


A summary of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016
For health practitioners

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 provides a framework for making decisions about medical treatment when people do not have capacity to make their own decisions.

The Act is part of a broader shift towards empowering and supporting people to make their own treatment decisions.

Click here to view 'A summary of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016'

The Best Death: How to Die Well
Author: Sarah Winch

AUD $ 24.95

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, how do you plan for the best death possible?

In April 2008 Sarah Winch’s husband, Lincoln, died from kidney cancer that was diagnosed only four months earlier. He was 48. 

Sarah and Lincoln prepared as best they could for his death. Her 30 years as a registered nurse and ethicist, specifically focused on end-of-life care, did not fully prepare Sarah for Lincoln’s death, but it did help them plan for the best death possible.

This book advocates for taking control of the final stages of life. It opens up the conversation around death and encourages us to become more informed about how we want to die.

This is an intimate, compassionate and practical guide, from someone with uniquely relevant personal and professional experience.   

Click here to purchase book

Improving the Texture Modified Diet  
Current Practice vs Best Practice 

Isn't it time we stopped treating individuals with dysphagia as second class citizens by serving them unappetising and visually unpalatable meals, and start empowering them to dine with dignity ? 

Simply puree, mold, heat and serve to make texture modified meals that look as good as they taste. 

Puree Food Molds are the WORLD's largest supplier of 100% foodsafe silicone molds, and have been designed in consultation with speech pathologists, dietitians and chefs. Our mold desgns are so life like it's hard to believe that the molded meals are pureed! 

Bring the joy of eating back to people's lives suffering with dysphagia. 

Puree Food Molds is 100% Australian Owned Company
Visit and purchase molds at:

In the News / Research

When life is coming to a close: three common myths about dying            
Article by Sarah Winch for The Conversation 

On average 435 Australians die each day. Most will know they are at the end of their lives. Hopefully they had time to contemplate and achieve the “good death” we all seek. It’s possible to get a good death in Australia thanks to our excellent healthcare system - in 2015, our death-care was ranked second in the world.

We have an excellent but chaotic system. Knowing where to find help, what questions to ask, and deciding what you want to happen at the end of your life is important. But there are some myths about dying that perhaps unexpectedly harm the dying person and deserve scrutiny [read more]
Palliative Wound Care: A New Frontier
Article by Jeffrey M. Levine MD, AGSF, CWS-P for GeriPal

I recently completed the revised chapter on pressure injuries for the Geriatrics Review Syllabus (GRS-10) which will be coming out shortly.  Part of the content addressed the topic of palliative care for chronic wounds.  In my text I claimed that a palliative approach can reduce suffering, improve quality of life, and decrease health care costs by eliminating expensive and/or painful procedures and treatments, but found little corroborating evidence. In the process of revision I did an informal poll of colleagues from coast to coast, and found nobody addressing palliative care for wounds.  Research in this area thus presents a wide open career opportunity for a young palliative care specialist.  [read more]
Westernised systems of palliative care can be problematic, conference is told
Article by Marie McInerney for Croakey

A palliative care doctor working in the Northern Territory has urged major changes to end of life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly in remote areas, saying the system of care itself is an “immense barrier” to equitable access.

Dr James Ricciardone, a registrar with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Health, graphically illustrated the inequities in access to palliative care in a presentation at the recent Australian Palliative Care Conference about one of his patients, a man in his 30s.

The man’s care was already limited by his late presentation to the health service with cancer, and his difficulty tolerating palliative chemotherapy, Ricciardone said. [read more]
The sacred task of caring for the dead should be a normal part of life
Article by Caitlin Doughty for The Guardian

In Cantonese village culture, there is a group of corpse handlers called the ng jong lo. When a death occurs, the ng jong lo come to the family home to wash the corpse and place it in a coffin. The corpse handlers are “living ghosts,”, dirty, unclean – a group who other citizens fear. Doors and windows close when they walk through the village. No one, not even priests, will hand them anything or speak to them directly. Children are kept away from the corpse handlers, who are believed to chew garlic to hide the stench of death and take perverse pleasure in their line of work. According to tradition, many are opium addicts who live together in the back of a coffin shop, the only men willing to take such degrading work [read more]
Why Grief Is A Series of Contractions and Expansions
Article by Joanne Cacciatore for Tricycle

Grief is a process of expansion and contraction that takes place over and over again.

Within this model, contraction is not wrong or bad; contraction need not be halted or controlled. Contraction is necessary for expansion—and thus, contraction is itself part of expansion.

A contraction of grief occurs when our attention and energy are pulled inward, our surroundings made smaller perhaps because, in this particular moment, we feel overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed, we contract and tighten emotionally; we conserve our energy and attention, focusing intently on grief—and on self. In a moment of contraction, it feels as if our very survival may be in question. We may feel unsteady, unsafe, unheld; we may feel tenuous, desperate, fearful, and vulnerable. In such moments, we may curl up and hold our breath. [read more]

Residential Aged Care Communique
National Awareness Weeks

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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