GRPCC eNews No39 - June 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
  • Education and events
    • Palliative Care Essentials 1-day Short Course
    • Gippsland Palliative and End of Life Care Forum
    • Palliative Approach in Aged Care
    • PEPA Palliative Approach in Sub-Acute Environments 
    • Oceanic Palliative Care Conference
  • Resources and information 
    • GRPCC CPG Guidelines
    • Journal of Palliative Medicine
  • In the news/ research
    • Strictly Come Dying: Will it be a fast dance or a slow waltz?
    • Symptom Assessment in Patients with Advanced Cancer: Are the Most Severe Symptoms the Most Bothersome?
  • Newsletters

A month in review  
April and May were months of project coordination and  preparation for the GRPCC.  In the coming months, we will be collaborating with  organisations including Safer Care Victoria, PEPA, Banksia Palliative Care, Gippsland PHN and Monash School of Rural Health, offering education sessions and forums in Gippsland.  Refer to the Education and Events section of this newsletter for details and registration links.  Following the success of the Time of Dying Forums in late 2018, preparation has also commenced for similar forums in later this year, so stay tuned for more details.

Anny has been busy of the road with John Reeves, a Gippsland-based clinical psychologist and Veronica Porcaro, a trained actor, delivering Communication Skills workshops to Medical Students and GP clinics across Gippsland.  27 medical students in Warragul, Sale, Leongatha and Bairnsdale and 16 GPs and Practice Nurses participated in these workshops focusing on experiential role play of communication skills in the context of Transition to Palliative Care. The training is evidence based, provides an explicit communication skills framework and promoted\s individual learning and behaviour change.  

To celebrate National Palliative Care week from the 19-25th May, the GRPCC provided every health service in Gippsland with a screen saver image to be installed on the computers.  The repeated image aimed to raise awareness amongst hospital staff of National Palliative Care and to ask them to think about 'What matters most?'
Education & Events

Palliative Care Essentials 1-day Short Course
In response to the GRPCC work across the region with the District Nurse and Palliative Care Skills Matrix project, Banksia Palliative Care Services have been engaged by the GRPCC to come to Gippsland to hold 3 comprehensive 1-day short course for Registered and Enrolled Nurses, and Allied Health Professionals working in the acute or community settings, with an interest in palliative care. It will provide 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:         Wednesday 12th June 2019
Time:         9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost:         $50 + booking fee
Location:  Monash Rural Health
                  Sargeant Street, Warragul

Date:        Thursday 13th June 2019
Time:        9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost:         $50 + booking fee
Location:  Monash Rural Health
                  Corner Victoria Street & Day Street,  Bairnsdale

Warragul - SOLD OUT
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

Gippsland Palliative and End of Life Care Forum 

Safer Care Victoria’s Palliative Care Clinical Network has partnered with the GRPCC and Gippsland PHN to host a forum on palliative and end of life care in the region.The forum will focus on local level challenges and identify areas and ideas for improvement. This is a great opportunity to connect, share and engage with each other, and to learn something new.

Date:      Tuesday 25th June 2019
Time:      12.30pm - 6.00pm
Location: Century Inn, Traralgon
Cost:        Free

Click here to register

Palliative Approach in Aged Care

The program of Experience in the Palliative Care Approach aims to improve the accessibility of quality palliative care in the community by increasing the skills and confidence of health professionals who are caring for people with a life-limiting illness, and their families.

Topics include:

  • The palliative approach
  • Advance care planning and voluntary assisted dying
  • Assessment and care planning
  • Managing common symptoms
  • Supporting the psychosocial needs of clients
  • Supporting the spiritual needs of clients
  • Caring for the professional caregiver
  • End-of-life considerations

Date:        Tuesday 6th August 2019
Time:        9.30 - 3.30 (registration from 9.00am)
Location: Pettie Centre
                 West Gippsland Healthcare Community Health Centre
                 31/35 G;adstome Street, Warragul
Cost:        Free

Click here to register

PEPA Palliative Approach in Sub-Acute 

This PEPA workshop, designed for health professionals working in the sub-acute environment (HARP, RIR, DN, Haemodialysis, TCP, Practice Nurses etc.) will allow attendees to acquire knowledge, skills and confidence in providing palliative care for people with a life-limiting illness, and their families.

Topics include:

  • What is the palliative approach?
  • Life limiting illnesses
  • Assessment and care planning
  • Managing common symptoms
  • Supporting the psychosocial and spiritual needs of clients
  • Advance Care Directives and the Medical Treatment Planning & Decision Act
  • Caring for the professional caregiver

Date:        Tuesday 3rd September 2019
Time:        9.30 - 3.30 (registration from 9.00am)
Location: Bridges on Argyle
                 84-90 Argyle Street, Traralgon
Cost:        Free


Date:        Monday 9th September 2019
Time:        9.30 - 3.30 (registration from 9.00am)
Location: Monash School of Rural Health
                 Crn Victoria St & Day St, Bainrsdale
Cost:        Free

Click here to register for the Trararlgon workshop
Click here to register for the Bairnsdale workshop

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.

The GRPCC will be presenting at the conference on the Aged Care Pathways project and the Skills Matrix project.

Click here visit the conference website and for registration details


GRPCC CPG 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.  The following CPG has recently reviewed and updated the following guidelines. 

To view all the CPG guidelines please visit the GRPCC website 

Click here view all GRPCC CPG Guideline

Journal of Palliative Medicine

For interesting articles, the Journal of Palliative Medicine is a leading interdisciplinary journal reporting on the clinical, educational, legal, and ethical aspects of palliative care for patients in end of life or with intractable pain, focusing on improving quality of life. 

Click here for further information
In the News / Research

Palliative Care Victoria Welcomes $72 M Funding Boost for Palliative Care

Over the next 4 years, an extra $72 M will be invested in Victorian palliative care services with over 10,500 Victorians to benefit from boost to palliative care.  The State budget announcements include extra funding for:
  • Community palliative care services - to assist an extra 10,500 Victorians over 4 years
  • Consultancy palliative care by health services in Metro Melbourne, complementing the November 2017 funding increase for rural and regional palliative care consultancy services
  • Rapid response services providing palliative care expertise to facilitate transitions from hospital to home and aged care facilities
  • Recurrent operating funding for the extra 12 palliative care beds that were approved for capital funding in October 2018
  • A scholarship program to facilitate the development of palliative care capability in the workforce.

Strictly Come Dying: Will it be a fast dance or a slow waltz?
The Blog of the European Association for Palliative Care

Every death is different. But there are three typical patterns of physical decline that most people follow in their last years, months or weeks of life. These final steps have been known throughout Europe for centuries as the ‘Danse Macabre’ or dance of death. There were paintings and pamphlets illustrating this phase of life as a final dance. This allowed people to consider their final days.However, nowadays death is rarely mentioned, and the general public and clinicians are not so well equipped to deal with it.
So which dances do your patients perform?
We have produced a short, light-hearted video to match the three archetypal illness trajectories to dances, ‘Strictly Come Dying’. (The title is a play on words on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, a popular UK television series that revived interest in ballroom dancing spawning similar programmes internationally). Watch the video below and hear the dance music. [read more]

Symptom Assessment in Patients with Advanced Cancer: Are the Most Severe Symptoms the Most Bothersome?
Article by Brian Li, Kenneth Mah, Nadia Swami, Ashley Pope, Breffni Hannon, Christopher Lo, Gary Rodin, Lisa W. Le, and Camilla Zimmermann. Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Patients with advanced cancer experience numerous physical and psychological symptoms that must be accurately identified and managed to improve quality of life. Ensuring that patients feel understood by their health care providers is paramount for effective clinical decision making. Evidence has shown that clinicians can obtain substantially more information regarding patients' symptoms through systematic assessment in comparison with open-ended questioning.

One of the most well-known and frequently utilized systematic symptom assessment tools is the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). The ESAS is a reliable, valid, widely-used measure that assesses the severity of nine common symptoms on a 0–10 numerical scale.5–7 However, discrepancies have been noted among severity recorded on patient-reported outcome measures, the documentation of severity on medical records, and the symptom-related actions taken by health care providers. These discrepancies may be related to clinicians taking actions on symptoms based on incomplete information and their own assumptions, but may also relate to the fact that the symptom questionnaires that were used measured only severity and not patients' prioritization of their symptoms. [read more]

PEPA AGED CARE NEWSLETTER Edition #58 April 2019
CareSearch - April Newsletter
Safe Care enews - #12 | 30 May 2019
Safer Care enews - #11 | 2 May 2019
Safer Care enews - Clinical network news #10 | 16 April 2019
EOL Essentials Project News - Edition # 35 - May 2019
PalliAGED news - May
PalliAGED news -  April

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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