Palliative Care information and resources

Palliative Care information and resources

National Palliative Care Projects Hub

Funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care, the National Palliative Care Projects work towards improving quality and access to critical support and treatment for people with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones. The projects offer a range of tools and training opportunities that will expand your skills and deepen your understanding of palliative care. 

Palliative Care data from the AIHW (May 2024)

The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare has released 3 NEW reports on palliative care. The report data reveals that 80% of all expected deaths in Australia each year would benefit from palliative care. That is almost 110,000 people nationally per year, or 2,000 people per week. 

Palliative Care Access to Core Medicines (PCAM)

The Palliative Care Access to Core Medicines (PCAM) project is designed to support palliative care in the community and assists people who wish to die at home through timely access to essential medicines. This minimises suffering associated with emergent end-of-life symptoms. The Core Medicines List (CML) includes the medicines endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand Society for Palliative Medicines for use in community-based palliative patients and is considered the core palliative care medicine lists published in other states.

The Medicines in the Last Days of Life: Anticipatory Medicines and Medication Management for end-of-life care recorded webinar is designed to equip GPs, community pharmacists and other health professionals with knowledge about anticipatory medicines and medication management for end-of-life care.

Building pharmacists' understanding of palliative care

Building death literacy in pharmacists is crucial, especially with the growth of community-based palliative care initiatives; death literacy significantly influences people's behaviour. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has recently released an updated version of the Essential CPE (eCPE) entitled Palliative Care. This helps pharmacists to navigate all aspects of palliative care, from advance care planning through to bereavement support. 

End-of-Life Essentials Training Resources

End-of-Life Essentials has developed a suite of purpose-built training resources for short and targeted training sessions. All EOLE resources can be adapted and used in many teaching contexts: from a small group on the ward to presenting a formal session with a larger group.  

Palliative Care Glossary of Terms

Palliative Care Victoria has developed a Glossary of Terms in 16 languages to help patients, carers, family members and staff to better understand and communicate often-used terms and acronyms. The Glossary is also designed to provide professionals with access to accurate and culturally and linguistically appropriate palliative care terminology to ensure consistency both within and across languages.

Department of Health Palliative Care Program

Specialist palliative care services can support people with a life-threatening illness through:

  • direct care for people requiring specialist palliative care interventions
  • shared care arrangements with other healthcare providers
  • consultation and advice to other services and healthcare teams providing end-of-life care
  • education and training on palliative care and end-of-life issues
  • undertaking and disseminating research about caring for the dying and their families/carers.

Visit the Victorian Department of Health website for updates and information.

Tips for Nurses factsheet: Recognising Deterioration

Recognising an older person's need for palliative care or when they are approaching end of life is important but not always clear-cut. Nurses have a major role in recognising that a person is deteriorating. Read more.

AIHW Palliative Care Services in Australia report

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Palliative Care Services report is regularly updated to include the latest data from a range of sources.

Care of the Dying Survey Report

Safer Care Victoria's Care of the Dying Survey Report summarises the first phase of this project run by the Palliative Care Clinical Network and reports on the care of people in the last days of life in acute care settings in Victoria. The latest update is here (published in September 2019 and revised in November 2020).

Victoria's Palliative Care Advice Service

The Palliative Care Advice Service (PCAS) provides Victorians with specialist palliative care information, guidance and support. A Victorian Department of Health initiative hosted by The Royal Melbourne Hospital, the service provides free confidential advice when living with or caring for someone with life-limiting illness, or palliative or end-of-life care needs. Specialist doctors and nurses are available to assist clinicians, patients, carers and families. The service is also available to all Victoria-based healthcare providers. Available on 1800 360 000 7 am to 10 pm daily.

Palliative Care: It’s more than you think!

To encourage people to think about their end-of-life experience, Palliative Care Australia has created a national education campaign Palliative Care: It’s more than you think!'. With a strong focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. 

Who’s that Palliative Care Mob

The ‘Who’s that palliative care mob?’ animated video and booklet are designed to raise awareness about palliative care within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It shares information on services and support available for those on their returning to Spirit journey.

The Palliative Care Clinic Box 

This resource contains a range of hard copy resources for families, health professionals and clinical services to support families in managing a range of symptoms, including safely giving subcutaneous medicines. The Caring@Home Palliative Care Clinic Box can be ordered for FREE.

CareSearch Evidence Centre 

An authoritative, practical and foundational resource to support best practice and improving care that will help you to find, learn about and work with palliative care evidence.  

Free Palliative Care Knowlege Maps for allied health professionals 

ELDAC has produced a toolkit with two personal knowledge maps to help allied health professionals build their skills in key areas of palliative care. 

AIHW: Dementia in Australia

Dementia in Australia has been published as a web report since 2021. This report is updated bi-annually to include the latest data from a number of sources. 

Dementia Toolkit for aged care staff

ELDAC's Dementia Toolkit provides information and guidance to support palliative care and advance care planning to help aged care staff improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in caring for people living with dementia and their families.

Dementia Resources

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. This suite of resources for health professionals and people diagnosed with dementia has been developed to provide best-practice clinical and referral pathways and links to resources for patients, families and carers.  

Reducing barriers to completion of a Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD)

Safer Care Victoria has developed two checklists to help improve the completion of an MCCD. The checklists can be used by acute health services when discharging a patient or to help prepare for a patient to die at home when being admitted to a community palliative care service.

Self-Care Matters

The 'Self-Care Matters' resource is designed to provide support with understanding self-care. Planning and practising effective self-care strategies can sustain your capacity to support others, both personally and professionally. 

Changes to PBS listing of morphine and oxycodone oral solutions

The Department of Health and Aged Care changed the listing for several critical palliative care drugs on the PBS in February 2023. These changes allow pharmacists to dispense volumes smaller than a whole bottle at PBS-subsidised prices.

Palliative Care Projects database

ELDAC has created a searchable database (ProSeek) of palliative care projects, research and activities completed across Australia with hundreds of records with useful knowledge and resources for making decisions and solving problems in aged care. Projects, research and activities can be submitted to ProSeek. Read ELDAC’s Cheat Sheet Submitting a Project to find out more.

Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning: Current Practices in Victorian Cancer Services 

The Victorian Integrated Cancer Services have published Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning: Current Practices in Victorian Cancer Services project. This report has important implications for anyone working in advanced care planning, palliative care and end-of-life care.  

The Palliative Care Education Directory (PaCE)

Educators and health and aged care providers can use an App to access the PaCE resource directory with the ready availability of palliative care education and training resources from the Collaborative and other National Palliative Care Projects.

Supporting Inclusive End of Life Care Companion Guides

The ELDAC Supporting Inclusive End-of-Life Care companion guides are designed to assist aged care providers in offering culturally safe and inclusive end-of-life care. They are available for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse People; and LGBTQI+ People. 

CHAP (Comprehensive Health Assessment Program): Improving the health of adults with intellectual disability

Apply for a free licence to use the CHAP tool in Australia. This is designed to prompt a comprehensive health assessment for adults with intellectual disability and may help doctors make better diagnoses, provide appropriate treatment and ultimately ensure overall better health. It is a two-part questionnaire requiring collaboration between the person with the intellectual disability, their supporter and their GP. 

FREE Home Care App for care workers

The ELDAC Home Care App provides practical tips and support for home care workers to care for their clients’ changing needs as they reach the end of life. TDownladable for free from the Apple App or Google Play stores.

Facing End of Life

Cancer Council Victoria has designed the Facing End of Life booklet to support people dying with cancer, as well as their families, friends and people caring for them.  With information on laws around Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD), organ and tissue donation and understanding grief. 

Acute Care Resource Pack

To support health professionals who work in hospitals and care for patients who are approaching the end of their life, CareSearch has developed the Acute Care Resource Pack.

Flying Doctor Memory Lane program

Memory Lane is the Royal Flying Doctor Service's free program to assist people in palliative care to visit a place in Victoria of significance to them. Flying Doctor Memory Lane journeys are available for clients who meet the required eligibility criteria.

The Goals-of-Care Conversation: A Best-Practice, Step-By-Step Approach

Engaging patients in meaningful goals-of-care discussions is critical to providing patient-centered, individualised care. Eight key components of a goals-of-care conversation with examples of questions and empathic responses or prompts clinicians can be used to guide the goals-of-care discussion.

Setting up for At-home Palliative Care

Visit the Caresearch website for assistance with preparing for palliative care in the home, including a list of practical things to consider, specialised equipment or changes in the home that may be needed and links to useful resources. 


Community Resources

Palliative Care Victoria provides downloadable audio and written resources about palliative care in easy English and 20 community languages.  

The Centre for Palliative Care provides a range of webinars that are available to view FREE on demand, as well as research articles for carers, community and clinicians.

 The Better Health Channel provides information on culturally sensitive palliative care services that will help you and your family understand more about what is available to you, including the Aboriginal Palliative Care Program. See Palliative Care Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.