Medicinal Cannabis Guidelines

The Australian Government Health Department, Therapeutic Goods Administration has released a number of guidelines that are relevant to palliative care practice. Find them below:

Support for Carers
Weavers is a peer-to-peer model supporting carers to address the significant challenges of caring for a loved one. It has been trialled successfully in South Australia by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. You can now download all the information and materials needed to learn about, implement and deliver the Weavers program via a free registration at

Gather my crew

Gather My Crew is an easy-to-use online tool that allows friends, family and colleagues to help others in need when and how they need help.

It works by directly linking people in need to their own network of ‘helpers’ in an easy and coordinated way through an online tool. This tool pivots around a list of ‘needs’.
Gatherers identify their needs and develop a list of tasks that their network can help with. They then invite their network, or ‘crew’, via email to provide assistance in whatever way they can.
Gather My Crew can be used to coordinate a team of helpers to assist with things like:
• Jobs around the home
• Medical appointments
• Daily chores
• Young children
• Transport
• Arranging an outing.

The Department of Health & Human Services is pleased to announce that a new web resource has been published: Essential elements of end of life care.

Developed with the Palliative Care Clinical Network, this resource is for boards, executives, managers and clinicians.

Essential elements of palliative care
This guide will assist acute health services to operationalise the National consensus statement: essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care.
This resource, produced by the Victorian Government Department of Health is for boards, executives, managers and clinicians of all disciplines and addresses the following elements of the National Consensus Statement:
1. Patient centred care
2. Teamwork
3. Goal of care
4. Using triggers
5. Responding to concerns
6. Leadership & governence
7. Education & training
8. Supervision & support
9. Evaluation and feedback
10. Supporting systems

Bilingual Palliative Care resources
Palliative Care Victoria has published information in 17 languages. These include both audio and written materials which can be downloaded from their website.
Click here to access

Greek cultural and linguistic resources
The Greek Orthodox Community of St George in Brisbane provides aged, disability and community care services through GOC Care. A very useful resources page on their website contains links to information about end of life care, religion, communicating with and understanding older Greek people, and language/communication aids.

palliAGED is the place to go for evidence, tools, guidance and practice resources about palliative care for older Australians. The information and resources supports all those involved in caring for older Australians approaching the end of their life. This includes nurses and care workers in residential aged care or community care, GPs and general practice nurses, allied health professionals and support staff. There is also information and resources for older people and their families. Click here for the link.

Help to start a conversation on end-of-life care

Palliative Care Australia has released two new online resources to make it easier for people to record and share their care wishes and preferences at the end of life.

The online Dying to Talk discussion starter and card game were officially launched in Canberra by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt during Palliative Care Week.

PCA CEO Liz Callaghan said the online discussion starter resource expands on the success of the printed version, which has been distributed to 15,000 people around Australia.

“The online discussion starter and card game is an easy, interactive and accessible way for all Australians to work out what is most important for them at end of life,” she said.

The online card game includes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific deck to provide culturally appropriate options such as visiting or dying on country.

“After you input your answers you can download, print or e-mail them to yourself, making it easy to share your wishes with your loved ones, carers or healthcare professionals,” said Ms Callaghan.

A national survey conducted by PCA found that while 85 per cent of Australians believe it is important to have a conversation with family about the care they would like to receive at end of life, only a third of people surveyed have actually had the discussion.

Further, 83 per cent of Australians believe it is important to put their end-of-life wishes in writing, but only 21 per cent have done this.

Access the resources here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care
Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel culturally safe and receive culturally responsive care is a key responsibility of every health care provider. The new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care resources will help build a path of cultural capability and understanding for supporting care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These pages bring together a range of resources and information to help the health care workforce and carers in providing palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous people’s end of life care wishes
The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and Palliative Care Australia has recently launched Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dying to Talk resources with the Hon Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Health. Focus groups with community members ensured the Discussion Starter and the Dying to Talk Cards were culturally safe and useful. Click here to read more.

Dying to Talk encourages Australians of all ages and levels of health to talk about dying. 82% of Australians think it is important to talk to their family about how they would want to be cared for at the end of their life. Only 28% have done so. The Dying to Talk Discussion Starter guides you through talking with your loved ones. Find both resources here.

A new guideline for inserting and delivering medication via the subcutaneous route developed by the Eastern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium can be found here: Guidelines for using the BD Saf-T-Intima System in Residential Aged Care Facilities

New VitalTalk website
VitalTalk’s new website aims to nurture healthier connections between patients and clinicians. Dr Robert Arnold, a keynote speaker at the 2014 PCV Conference, is a regular contributor. If you’ve ever had trouble finding an Oncotalk, Intensivetalk, or Toughtalk resource, they are now all together in the one site, along with videos, chapters, articles, and powerpoint talks. Explore and download

. Guidelines for using the BD Saf-T-Intima System in Aged Care
. Noisy Breathing at the End of Life- family leaflet 2016
. Management of Respiratory Secretions in the Terminal Phase May 2016
. Syringe Driver Drug Compatibilities- May 2016
. Opioid Conversions May 2016

Online education resource to deliver palliative care

A new online resource has been launched to support aged care workers to deliver evidence-based palliative care to older Australians.

The resource, launched during Palliative Care Week, provides health professionals and support staff with the latest evidence and clinical tools to guide their practice, including evidence summaries, educational videos and practice resources.

palliAGED is funded by the federal government and managed by Flinders University through the CareSearch website.

Information for people with a learning difficulty
Marie Curie has launched a series of easy-read booklets to help people with a learning difficulty to discuss concerns about death and dying, and to better understand end of life care. Four booklets for people living with a life limiting illness and three booklets for those caring for people in this situation. The booklets can be downloaded here. Information for healthcare professionals is available here.

Conversation Starter Kit for families of people with dementia
The Conversation Project has adapted its generic Conversation Starter Kit (available in ten languages) to meet the specific needs of families and loved ones of people with any form of dementia. The kit provides suggestions about beginning conversations about advance care plans in the early stages of decline as well as ways to use the kit even when the illness is advanced. The kit is available in English and Spanish

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