Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

August 2020

Email Update

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.

A pdf version of the monthly update can be printed and displayed on your staff noticeboard.
In this update:

We're here to support you: Aged care activities & MND education & support
New podcast: Mental health & wellbeing for health professionals
Self-Care Matters: Watch the launch and view FAQs
Updated medicines guidelines
CarerHelp: New online resource to support carers & Hot Topics webinar
Online events program for carers in South Eastern Melbourne
PCSWA: New Victorian network
AIHW report: Australia's health 2020
Palliative care & end of life care advice line 
ANZSPM 2020 virtual conference: Invitation to attend
Education & training opportunities
     For those interested in dementia care     
For those working in palliative care
     For those working in residential aged care
     For all health professionals
Information & resources
     Yarning places
     New app from Smiling Mind
     Webcast: What is palliative care?
     Responding to COVID-19
About the SMRPCC
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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 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.

See Jane's COVID-19 newsletters and resources on SMRPCC's Aged Care web page.  

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.

Mental health and wellbeing for health professionals

New podcast from SMRPCC

The experiences of those on the front line of care during the Coronavirus pandemic will be challenged as never before. Our newest podcast provides all health professionals, especially nurses, with information, strategies and tools to assist to prioritise their own wellbeing and self-care.

Click here to listen to the 22-minute podcast or download the transcript here.

Self-Care Matters

Frequently asked questions

Designed by internationally recognised self-care expert Dr Jason Mills, Self-Care Matters is a comprehensive, evidence-based suite of resource created to foster your self-care, including practical tools to remind you that you matter and that self-care is fundamental to caring well for others.

The  Self-Care Matters resources were launched via webinar which includes a demonstration of how to create an effective self-care plan. If you missed the launch, click here to watch a recording of the webinar and read Palliative Care Australia's responses to the most frequently asked questions.

Updated medicines guidelines

Now available

An updated version of the Guidelines for the handling of palliative care medicines in community services, produced by NPS MedicineWise for caring@home, is now available.

The Guidelines are an important resource that can be used by community service providers to inform the development of policies and procedures for individual services handling palliative care medicines. 

Support for carers

New online resource

CarerHelp is a new online resource for people who are caring for a friend or family member with an advanced disease during the last months of life. It helps prepare carers by providing evidence based information via fact sheets, learning modules, videos, and interactive resources. 

CarerHelp can also be a useful resource for health professionals who work with people with advanced disease and their families.

Webinar Hot Topic

CarerHelp: Helping your family carers be prepared for end of life caring

This free webinar is presented by the Centre for Palliative Care as part of the Hot Top webinar series.
Attend to hear more about
  • Why support for family carers is needed
  • The development of CarerHelp
  • Using CarerHelp in your practice
  • A carer’s perspective of their own information and support needs while caring
  • The next steps for CarerHelp to ensure that it supports a diverse range of Australian carers
When: Tuesday 18 August 4pm-5pm
For further information or to register: Click here
Note: Registrations close Monday 17 August

New online events program

For carers in South Eastern Melbourne

Alfred Health Carer Services support carers who reside in the 10 local government areas across South Eastern Melbourne. It offers a range services to carers based on emergency, short term and long term needs and includes:

  • Carer Support Programs
  • Events and Workshops
  • Newsletters and eBulletins
  • Help in other languages
The  August program of online events is now available and includes a variety of  free activities, workshops and information sessions for carers.

Palliative Care Social Work Australia

New Victorian network 

Palliative Care Social Work Australia (PCSWA) has announced a new Network for social workers in Victoria.

If you are a social worker in Victoria and working in palliative care  or have an interest in palliative care, end-of-life care or bereavement, click here read more about the Network and it's Co-Conveners. 

Australia's health 2020

AIHW's 2-yearly report card

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released its two-yearly report card, Australia's health 2020.

Life expectancy, chronic conditions, social determinants of health and the COVID-19 pandemic are some of the issues under the spotlight in the latest report card on the health of Australians.

Download Australia's Health 2020: in brief or visit AIHW's Australia's Health 2020 web page for additional information and data insights.
Also available: AIHW's latest online report on the activity and characteristics of palliative care services across Australia. Data is presented under specific topic areas with detailed data available for current and previous years in downloadable Excel workbooks.

Palliative Care & End of Life Care Advice Line

Now accepting calls 

The Victorian Government has introduced a new advice service available to all Victorians where you can speak with a palliative care nurse or doctor about any aspect of a life-limiting illness.

The advice service operates from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week through the Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service. 

To contact the advice service call 1800 360 000.

Virtual conference: 17 - 19 September

Invitation to attend

The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine is pleased to announce that ANZSPM 2020 is going virtual and its aptly chosen theme Palliative Care - Strength Through Uncertainty will be the focus of a carefully curated and fully online program.

For further information or to view the program: Click here

Education & training opportunities

For those interested in dementia care

National symposium series 2020

Presented by Dementia Australia

With the impact of COVID-19 and the Royal Commission into Aged Care on Quality and Safety releasing new results later this year, 2020 has already been a year of challenges. This symposium is the ideal opportunity to address issues and challenges in providing quality care. Hear from experts on:
  • achieving quality, person-centred care in practice
  • meeting the aged care quality standards
  • successfully leading and engaging in cultural change.
When: Starting Tuesday 4 August 2020: Six 90-minute sessions over six weeks 
Where: Watch live or access recordings later (online from your PC or device)
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here 

For those working in palliative care

It's what any good wife would do: Unpacking the intersection between gender and palliative care

Presented by Palliative Nexus

International guest speaker Professor Merryn Gott from the University of Auckland will be presenting in the next Palliative Nexus webinar series.

When: Wednesday 12 August 2020 at 3:30 pm AEST 
Where: Online from your PC or device 
For further information or to register: Click here 

For those working in residential aged care 

Online learning courses 

Presented by the Rainbow of Difference Project

The purpose of this series is to empower aged care workers to provide supportive and inclusive care to people from the LGBTI community, including people living with dementia and receiving palliative care, who also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI).

When: Available on demand 
Where: Online from your PC or device 
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here 

For all health professionals 

Understanding the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 

Presented by the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)

OPA’s webinar for professionals, held on Wednesday. 17 June is now available to watch online. The interactive session was a facilitated conversation with OPA's Principal Guardian, drawing out key concepts of the Act from a legal and practical perspective, highlighting the key changes.

When: Available on demand 
Where: Online from your PC or device 
Cost: Free
To watch the webinar: Click here 

Information & resources

Yarning Places 

There are now six Yarning Places to choose from across the HealthInfoNet site, which enable conversations with others in the field, when and how the users want, with the new HealthInfoChat.  


New app from Smiling Mind 

This app-based mindfulness program has been developed to provide busy healthcare workers with easily accessible information, resources and practical activities designed to support good mental health and wellbeing. For further information, click here or download the app from Google Play or the App Store.

Webcast: What is palliative care? 

This  6-minutes webcast from the Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium explains palliative care, including the types of supports and services offered from palliative care providers and how palliative care can empower patients, their carers and loved ones. It also promotes early referral and briefly explains the referral processes and models of care.

Responding to COVID-19

Information & resources 

For the 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.

Especially for those working in palliative care


Resources from Caresearch 

Caresearch has multiple web pages that list resources for palliative care and care at the end of life in the COVID-19 context and according to role, setting, or source.


Especially for those working in the aged care sector


Resources from DHHS 

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.

Resources from ELDAC

ELDAC's 'Being Prepared for COVID-19 page is being updated regularly, with specific information for:
  • aged care
  • services and organisations
  • GPs and other health professionals
  • older people and their families
  • the workforce
  • people who speak languages other than English 

For those working with people with a CALD background


Fact sheets in easy-English and 6 other languages 

The Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research & Enterprise (SPHERE) has created a series of 36 fact sheets containing medical advice and instructions to support people with chronic health conditions keep safe from COVID-19. The fact sheets are written in easy-to-understand English and translated into Arabic, Chinese, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. 


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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