Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care Great Southern Compassionate Communities

Country WA Primary Health Networks was one of 11 PHNs from across the country granted funding by the Department of Health in 2018 to implement Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care Measure.

The Great Southern Compassionate Communities pilot project utilised a framework, that seeks to increase patient/carer awareness of palliative care options (including ACP) and choices and facilitate greater community awareness of and integration into local assets and resources that can support end of life care at home.

Compassionate Communities is a public health approach to end-of-life care which expands the reach and effectiveness of formal end of life

Country WA Primary Health Networks was one of 11 PHNs from across the country granted funding by the Department of Health in 2018 to implement Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care Measure.

The Great Southern Compassionate Communities pilot project utilised a framework, that seeks to increase patient/carer awareness of palliative care options (including ACP) and choices and facilitate greater community awareness of and integration into local assets and resources that can support end of life care at home.

Compassionate Communities is a public health approach to end-of-life care which expands the reach and effectiveness of formal end of life care services by engaging communities in caring for their own at the end of life.

Great Southern Compassionate Communities has established alliances between community, businesses, local government and health to build collaboration between siloed professions and sectors to strengthen the community and increase health seeking behaviors as well as addressing the social determinants of health such as social connection.

The Australian Government has announced the project will be extended for a further 4 years from the 11 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) currently participating to all 31 PHNs nationally. WA Primary Health Alliance includes 3 PHN’s; WA Country PHN, Perth North PHN and Perth South PHN.

  • Palliative Care At Work

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    We live in a society that doesn’t feel comfortable talking about dying, let alone planning for what kind of care you’d like to receive at the end of your life. Unless people have had direct experience with palliative care, they tend not to know what it means or the kinds of support it can offer. This lack of knowledge is often shared by family and loved ones who can be integral in decision making. Death is an experience we will all go through and it is important that we think about the end stage of our own lives, talk about it with our loved ones, and plan for it.

    This resource by Palliative Care ACT has been written specifically for employees, when they have been given a terminal diagnosis (referred to as a life-limiting illness). The information can also be relevant to employees who have the responsibility of caring for someone with such a diagnosis. The toolkit covers things like your entitlements under fairwork, working while ill, being a working carer, superannuation and government supports and practical considerations like how to talk to colleagues and workplace grief.

    You can access this informative resource here

  • City of Albany receives a Palliative Care in WA award.

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    The City of Albany took home the 2021 Palliative Care in WA award for outstanding Local Government Authority supporting a Compassionate Community approach at the recent awards dinner. The judging panel commended the City of Albany and finalists, City of Cockburn and the City of Melville for leading the way in their ongoing efforts to create communities that are compassionate, resilient, responsive and understands that we can’t get through difficult times alone.

    Through the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care pilot measure, WA Primary Health Alliance partnered with the City of Albany to deliver a Compassionate Communities framework to the Great Southern. Compassionate Communities is a global movement that ‘traditionally’ encourages communities and Neighbourhood networks to play a much stronger role in supporting people, their families and carers at the end of life. It comes from a public health approach that encourages people to adopt an understanding that health is everyone’s responsibility, not just their doctors or health services. As the first line of connection to people where they live, local governments play an important role in contributing to the social wellbeing of communities. The partnership with the City of Albany has been crucial to enable access to the existing assets within the community, including the network of relationships established through its delivery of community services, social planning, and delivery human services within the local community. The influence the City’s programs and services has over people’s sense of connectedness to their community, and overall community wellbeing is a key determinant in achieving public health outcomes. You can read more about Compassionate Communities and the work undertaken with the City of Albany here

    Congratulations to the City of Albany, WA Primary Health’s Great Southern office and Compassionate Communities team on the well-deserved award.


    L-R: Ranea Lavell, Andrew Sharpe, Lesley Pearson, Tammy Flett, Lisa Forward, Irene Montefiore, Mayor Dennis Wellington

  • Hot Off The Press! Compassionate Communities Project Report to the City of Albany

    The City of Albany has been delivering a Compassionate Communities project in partnership with WA Primary health Alliance under the Australia Governments Primary Health Networks Program, through funding under Greater Choice for at Home Palliative Care measure (GCfAHPC). The project provides greater choice for patients and families in regard to setting of care and preferred place of death by increasing awareness of and integration into local assets and resources that can support end-of-life care at home.

    The final report on the achievements and learnings of the project can be found here



  • Advance Care Plan Form for a Person with Insufficient Decision-Making Capacity (e.g. moderate to severe dementia)

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    A National Advance Care Planning Documentation Prevalence Study found that 30% of people in residential aged care had advance care planning documents (with life limiting instructions) completed by someone else.

    Having an advance care directive (ACD) completed by the person is considered the gold standard in advance care planning and is what the law requires. However, there are circumstances where advance care directives are not possible and advance care plans written by someone else (not legally binding) may provide an understanding of the person’s future preferences.

    Unlike advance care directives, there is no legal framework for these documents. In the interests of quality and safety, Advance Care Planning Australia have released an advance care plan form for a person with insufficient decision-making capacity (e.g. moderate to severe dementia).

    This document is most relevant to aged care service, and especially residential aged providers as many people living in residential aged care have cognitive impairment and may have lost decision-making capacity.

    This form can be used nationally but when an advance care plan form exists in a particular jurisdiction, we recommend using theirs.

    The new advance care plan form includes guidance on completing the form. It guides the person’s substitute decision-maker how to document their understanding of the person’s future care preferences.

    Although not a legally binding document, advance care plans are useful for guiding medical decision making for substitute decision-makers and clinicians. The form makes this clear to both the person writing it and the clinician interpreting it.

    Advance Care Planning Australia offers support for both health and aged care workers and the public. Call 1300 208 582

  • Refer to the free Advance Care Planning Support Service

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    Do you have a friend, family member, client or patient who needs support to understand and complete their Advance Care Plans?

    You can now refer them to Advance Care Planning Australia's free phone support service. They will help them by providing individual advance care planning support to suit their needs and can help them with:

    • Understanding advance care planning
    • Thinking about values and preferences
    • Having the conversation with loved ones
    • Choosing or acting as a substitute decision maker
    • How to complete and store documents

    Once you’ve made the referral, ACP Australia will give them a call within two business days.

    Please ensure you have informed consent to make a referral. It is the sole responsibility of the referrer to seek a person’s informed consent before providing Advance Care Planning Australia with a person’s contact details.

    Make your referral online here

  • Palliative care packages give comfort to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

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    A strong conviction, a COVID-19 lockdown, and the loss of four siblings, led 71-year-old Sally FitzGerald, ACT Councillor for NATSICC (The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council), to initiate the unique creation of palliative care packages for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people requiring palliative care.

    “So, in the lockdown in 2020, it just came to me that I should be doing something, so the idea of the care packages emerged.”

    The care packages that contain masks, blankets, writing pads and shawls have all been assembled by Sally in her Canberra home, before being delivered across the country.

    Read the Palliative Matters Story Here

  • Planning for Respite at Home Guide

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    Accepting support for respite at home and planning the best for everyone - A Guide

    Caring for someone can have its challenges but it can also be extremely rewarding. Whether it is a family member or a friend, you are caring for, you want them to be as well looked after as possible. However, the caring role can become all-consuming and in order to keep going, it’s important to ask for and to accept help .

    The help or support you accept is up to you and can be as simple as having some milk dropped off or the bins taken out. Maybe you have children who need to be taken to sport, or a dog that could do with a run? Or maybe you would enjoy doing that yourself, while a friend sits with the person you are caring for? This guide has been developed to encourage you to ask for and accept support, especially in-home respite support to allow you and your family to be supported and have quality time for yourselves.

    This guide is a collaboration with Albany Community Hospice and Great Southern Compassionate Communities to support individuals, families and carers through palliative caring at home. For more information on Compassionate Communities and Albany Community Hospice click here . The guide can be accessed here.

    The Health End of Life Program has a helpful guide to help you to put things in place to make the most of all the personal and social networks available to you, it can be accessed here .

  • Advance Care Planning Workshops for Residential Aged Care

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    Palliative and Supportive Care Education (PaSCE) have launched a series of Advance Care Planning for Residential Aged Care Workshops for 2021. These workshops are available to all staff in residential aged care facilities and provide tailored education for these staff to increase organisational advance care planning (ACP) knowledge. The implementation of ACP practices within residential aged care facilities promotes compliance to the Aged Care Quality Standards (2019) Standards 1, 2 and 3 and the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, ‘Partnering with consumers’ and ‘Comprehensive care’. Register yourself and team members into one or more of the appropriate workshops to grow your successful ACP practice. These workshops are being delivered virtually:

    Workshop 1: Palliative Care: A Role for Everyone
    Designed for Care workers, Assistants in Nursing, Lifestyle Coordinators, Management & Hospitality Services.
    Learning objectives • Recall what advance care planning is and the benefits • Identify triggers to advocate & support the patient
    Wed 8 September 10.00 - 11.00am
    Mon 20 September 10.00 - 11.00am
    Mon 11 October 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Mon 25 October 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Mon 1 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm
    Mon 15 November 1.30pm - 2.30pm

    Register here for this event or others being delivered by PaSCE


    Workshop 2: Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in Aged Care: The role of the Team
    Designed for Palliative care or ACP experienced* Nurses, Allied Health, Facility Managers and GPs. *If you have no ACP or palliative care knowledge, Workshop 1 may be appropriate for you to attend first.
    Learning objectives • Interpret Advance Care Planning information and consider how to integrate into practice • Increase understanding of Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care
    Mon 6 September 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Mon 20 September 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Mon 25 October 7.30am -8.30am
    Tues 9 November 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Tues 23 November 2.00 pm - 3.00pm
    Mon 29 November 2.00 pm - 3.00pm

    Register here for this event or others being delivered by PaSCE


    Workshop 3: Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning in Aged Care: The GP Role
    Designed for GPs and Locum services.
    Learning objectives • Interpret Advance Care Planning information and consider how to integrate into practice • Increase understanding of Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care • Discuss the Challenges
    Mon 6 September 6.30pm - 7.30pm
    Sat 16 October 8.30am - 9.30am
    Tues 2 November 7.30am - 8.30am

    Register here for this event or others being delivered by PaSCE

    Enquiries Email pasce@cancerwa.asn.au or phone 08 9382 9300

  • Heal Country, NAIDOC week 2021!

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    What a fantastic week it has been, its been so wonderful seeing Australians coming together to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people's culture, history and achievements. It has highlighted how much we have to learn from the worlds oldest culture especially in our connection to Country and it's relationship to our health and wellbeing.

    This year's theme Heal Country made it a fitting time to explore the topics of palliative care, culture, and Country with our First Nations people during the Palliative Care Australia Having a Yarn, Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country webcast.

    The event provided a unique opportunity to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative care practitioners about successfully blending cultural traditions with modern care practices. One interesting takeaway was discovering the innovative approaches that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative care services will use to bring Country to the person when circumstances are such that they cannot return. This reminds us how personal touches in palliative care can positively impact the person's wellbeing during this time. If you didn't get a chance to watch the webcast live, I highly recommend you watch the recording when you get the opportunity!

  • Palliative Care Week 2021

    May 23 – 29 is National Palliative Care Week, which aims to raise awareness of the support, treatment and care people living with life limiting illnesses can access, including advanced care planning. Palliative care provides holistic health care to people so they can live their remaining days how they want to, as well and as long as possible.
    This week we are sharing the stories of family members, carers and health professionals involved in supporting loved ones and patients in their final weeks and months. By growing awareness and engaging in sometimes difficult conversations we can all be open and prepared to support loved ones living in palliative care.
    Here, Ruby's mum Tamara tells the story of how Advanced Care Planning helped Ruby live her final weeks with love and comfort, surrounded by her family.


    Here, Irene talks about her voluntary work with palliative care patients and the difficult decisions she made on behalf of her mum which prompted her decision to get involved.


    Here Rani talks about having realistic conversations with her elderly father, who is located on the other side of the country

    Here, Mayor Dennis Wellington reflects on his friend’s end of life experience and how we should all approach end of life discussions with honesty and compassion.


    Here, Hospice Manager and registered nurse Fiona Jane shares her story of working in hospice and supporting residents to consider their final wishes as part of their advanced care plans, to ensure their final days are lived the way they want to.