Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

April 2020

Email Update
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In this update:

Update on Consortium activities
Consider the Carer - updated edition now available
Resources to support disability group home staff
Responding to COVID 19 -  information and resources
Self care resources
PCV Volunteers Conference - Postponed until May 2021
Education & training opportunities
     For those interested in advance care planning
     For everyone 
Information & resources
     Allied health in Australia & its role in palliative care
     The inappropriate question - short film about why hospital doctors discuss CPR/NFR
     Supporting difficult conversations with older aged care residents
     Video to help Victorians complete ACDs
     Guidance on anticipatory medicines
About the SMRPCC

We're still working

and here to support you


Throughout this COVID-19 health emergency we (SMRPCC) are changing the way we work but will be here for you. Please see below for changes to our programs and activities.

Please look after yourselves and remember we are available to provide assistance, if and when required.

Aged care activities

Due to the pandemic visiting restrictions placed on the aged care sector, Jane Newbound, Aged Care Project Worker is no longer be able to provide onsite education and support but is still available by phone on 0433418010 or via email.

MND education & support

Face-to-face education sessions will not be delivered until further notice. Education and information regarding MND can be accessed via
  • Our podcast series on various aspects of Motor Neurone Disease and its presentation and management.
  • Telephone or email consultations with Robyn Reid, MND Shared Care Worker.
    • Robyn is available on available on Wednesdays and Thursdays for consultation, resources and support. Phone 0428264446 or via email.
MNDV is conducting visits remotely.  Their equipment service continues to run; and third-party providers are still delivering and are complying with strict hygiene and cleaning regimes and precautions before equipment is being reissued. They continue to provide support to those with MND, their families and carers.

Program of Experience in Motor Neurone Disease (PEM)

This program has been suspended until further notice. 

Annual Clinical Forum

The 2020 Forum which was scheduled for 23 April is postponed. We will advise the new date once this health emergency is over.

Consider the Carer

Updated edition now available

The second and improved edition of our Consider the Carer resource is now available. 

This resource has been specifically designed for health professionals working in palliative care to better understand the full impact of the caring role and to develop prevention strategies.
This comprehensive document is best used online as it contains pertinent links to the websites of organisations that could be of assistance as well as links to further information.

Please feel free to distribute the link to the Consider the Carer resource widely amongst your staff and other interested health professionals, but please note: This resource is not for carers, it’s about carers.

View the resource at or visit the Resources & Links page on the SMRPCC website: 

Palliative Care and Disability 

Fact sheet series

Our fact sheet series provides information and advice for disability services staff working in group homes. There are 10 fact sheets available which can be downloaded for free from our website. 
For additional information and resources to support people with a disability who have a life limiting illness, check out our Facebook page

Please note: you must be logged into your Facebook account for the link to work. If you prefer to search for the page, it's called Southern Metro Palliative Care Consortium Disability & RACF projects.

Do you have a staff noticeboard?

Print this update and pin it up! 

Electronic distribution of our update is preferred however we recognise this is not always possible.

We now have a pdf version of the monthly update available which you can download, print and display.
Click here to print this update

Responding to COVID-19

Information & resources 

Latest COVID-19 health and clinical advice
Department of Health & Human Services

This website includes the most up-to-date Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources, information, plans and guides for health professionals working in Victoria.

Infection control training

New on-line resource from the Department of Health

The Australian Government Department of Health has developed this free on-line COVID-19 Infection Control training module for health professionals and care workers.

COVID ready communication playbook

Free from VitalTalk

Vital Talk has developed this crowd-sourced playbook to provide some practical advice on how to talk about some difficult topics related to COVID-19.

The original Playbook was recently tailored to the Australian context. This tailored resource provides some sample responses to questions that may arise from patients or relatives during a variety of clinical encounters and focuses on how clinicians might recognise their own emotions and how these extraordinary times impact them.

Especially for those working in aged care

Resources from DHHS and SMRPCC

To support you during this time, we have developed newsletters and collated resources specifically targeted to those working in the aged care sector.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a web page with information and resources to support the aged care sector in responding to the coronavirus disease.

Especially for those working in palliative care

Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group

The working group was founded under the auspices of Palliative Care Australia (PCA) in early March 2020 by Australia’s peak palliative care organisations to support vital nationwide preparation for the likelihood that COVID-19 will cause significant mortality. For further information about the membership, goals and actions of the Working Group, view their newsletter.

Self care for healthcare workers

Program and resources to help you look after yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Psychosocial Care: Self Care - This website is managed by the East Hume Palliative Care Consultancy Service and includes links to information and tools to support self care.

Treat - This mindfulness app is developed by Alfred Health and features more than 30 different guided meditations. This app is unique because users can find benefit in as little as 40 seconds – or choose a session up to 40 minutes long. Download from iTunes and Google Play

Thrive inside with Smiling Mind - This is a free app designed to help people remain inspired, stay connected and foster good mental habits during the coronavirus crisis.

Visit the zoo - Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo have setup live stream so you can enjoy the zoo animals from anywhere. 

Join the Kindness Pandemic - This Facebook group particularly encourages intergenerational kindness but welcomes sharing all acts of kindness. 

Discounted accommodation for health professionals MediStays is an Australian social enterprise that provides heavily discounted rates for people needing private self-contained facilities and hotel-room style accommodation near hospitals across Australia. In response to COVID-19 accommodation providers are now offering heavily discounted rates for hospital staff working extended shifts or needing to stay isolated. 

Volunteers conference - NEW DATE

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the Volunteers Conference has been postponed.  Please save the new date: Wednesday 19 May 2021.

Education & training opportunities

For those interested in Advance Care Planning 

There are several free and paid subscription-based courses you can complete to improve your understanding of advance care planning. Some examples are:

For everyone

Elder abuse prevention online training

Presented by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services

This online training has been initiated to assist in building the capacity of the Victorian workforce to identify and respond to elder abuse. The course will take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and is free of charge. It includes a range of case studies, some in video format to illustrate these concepts and there is a short assessment at the end. Participants are required to register for the course and will be issued with a certificate upon successful completion of the course and assessment.

Preventing Dementia MOOC 

Presented by the Wicking Institute

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offers university-quality education about the latest research in dementia risk and protective factors. The free course provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of a global community, without requiring exams or assignments.

When: Course starts 12 May (content available for 6 weeks)
Where: Online from your PC or device 
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

Information & resources

Report: Allied health in Australia and its role in palliative care 

This review was conducted by Caresearch and Flinder's University and aimed to understand the context of allied health practice in the Australian setting and hence how they might be supported to increasingly engage with palliative care.

Short film to help people understand why hospital doctors discuss CPR/NFR  

Discussions about Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) are common in hospital and there is limited information available in the community to help people understand why such difficult decisions and discussions need to occur. To explain this, Northern Health have produced this  short film, titled The Inappropriate Question.

New resources to support difficult converstaions with older aged care residents

The What Matters Most resources from Palliative Care Australia are designed to be used with health or aged care staff. They can help older people work out what would be right for them if they were really sick, or at the end of their life, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur.


Video to help Victorians complete Advance Care Directives

This 30 minute video offers a step-by-step guide to help Victorians complete their Advance Care Directives. It is designed to be used along with the Take Control booklet from the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate.

Guidance on anticipatory medicines

New guidance is now from Safer Care Victoria and is useful for anyone who provides palliative care for adults in in-patient and community settings,


Who we are & how you can contact us: 


Name                            Role                                        Phone                            Email
Tanja Bahro.............Consortium Manager............ 0418 584 106
Tess Storr................Administration Officer.............0428 485 136 ..........
Robyn Reid ............ MND Shared Care Worker....0428 264 446............
Stephenie Cook ......Training Coordinator ............0417 859 297............
Jane Newbound.......Aged Care Project Officer.....0433 418 

Our members include:

Ex Officio Members include:

  • Cabrini Palliative Care Services
  • Bolton Clarke
  • Southern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS)
  • South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN)

For general inquiries to the SMRPCC please email 

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