Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

February 2020

Email Update
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In this update:

2020 Clinical Forum: Covering all the bases - Registrations now open
New podcast - Sexuality, MND and Palliative Care
Print this update and display on your staff noticeboard
PCV Volunteers Conference - Call for abstracts 
National Advance Care Planning Week is 23 - 27 March
What's new from ELDAC
What Matters Most: New resources from PCA
Ordering caring@home carer packages - new process for Victorian services
Education & training opportunities
     For health professionals caring for ATSI people
     For those who have completed a PEPA placement   
For clinicians & medical students
     For those working or interested in perinatal palliative care     
For aged care nurses
     For volunteers and managers of volunteers
     For everyone
Education & training opportunities calendar 
Information & resources
     Exploratory analysis of barriers to palliative care 
     2020 Multi-faith calendar 
     Short films to raise awareness of dementia in mutlicultural Australia 
     Writing for the NDIS
     Factsheet: NDIS & palliative care 
     Position Statement: ACDs within community and residential aged care
About the SMRPCC

SMRPCC Annual Palliative Care Clinical Forum

Registrations are now open

The 2020 Forum - Covering all the bases will be facilitated by Bonnie Miller, Leadership Development & Conflict Management Consultant and will provide the opportunity for:
  • Services to present current research and quality initiatives
  • Investigating the opportunities arising from patient complaints
  • Dr. Margaret O'Connor, AM to present on her 2019 Churchill Fellowship
  • Discussing the impact of VAD on service deliver
When: Thursday 23 April 9.30am - 3.30pm (registrations, tea & coffee from 9am)
Where: Sandy by the Bay, Sandringham Football Club, Sandringham
Cost: Free
For further information: View the flyer
To register: Click here 

PLEASE NOTE: Registrations are only open to health professionals & staff working in SMRPCC Member palliative care services.

Sexuality, MND and Palliative Care 

Podcast #7 now available

Our MND Shared Care Worker, Robyn Reid, produces podcasts on MND and the various aspects of its management. If you work in aged care or primary health and have a client with MND, these podcasts will help you to better understand the illness and improve your care.

In this newest podcast (and downloadable transcript), Robyn explores some simple techniques to allow health professionals to explore issues of intimacy and sexuality, without needing to be an expert in sex therapy. Specific issues as they relate to people with MND is also discussed.
Other podcasts available (so far) in this series include: **These podcasts are available on the PodBean App which can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play to your phone or PC and provides easy access to a variety of video and audio podcasts. To find our audio podcast(s) simply search for and follow SMRPCC's Podcasts.

Podcasts and transcripts are also available on the MND page of the SMRPCC website.

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

Call for abstracts

Be quick - abstracts due by 4pm Monday 17 Feb

Palliative Care Victoria is now accepting abstracts for the conference, Volunteering 2020 – the future is now. 
People interested in presenting during the concurrent sessions are invited to submit an abstract along one of the following subthemes: 
  • Diversity/Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
  • New volunteer programs or roles.
The program includes opportunities for up to six 15-minute oral presentations. Please note abstract submissions close at 4pm on Monday 17 February 2020.

For further information please read the Guidelines before completing the online abstract submission form.

Save the dates

National Advance Care Planning Week is an annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia that encourages all Australians, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health care preferences known.  

Health and community groups interested in hosting a National Advance Care Planning Week for 2020 can register their event on the National Advance Care Planning Week website in early 2020. Stay tuned!

Survey for allied health professionals working in aged care

ELDAC are conducting a survey looking at the role of allied health professionals working in aged care. The purpose is to gauge their understanding of palliative care, and to determine the practice needs required to improve quality of care for people supported in residential and community aged care.

The survey takes 10-20 minutes to complete. For more information, please refer to the Participant Information Sheet.

Living and dying in comfort for diverse population groups

ELDAC's new 'Diverse Populations' resources provide guidance for health professionals and aged care workers to support palliative care and advance care planning to improve the care of older diverse Australians. 

What Matters Most

New resources to support difficult conversations 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.

The resources include:

  • The Facilitator Guide that supports health and aged care workers to initiate conversations using the What Matters Most Discussion Starter and Cards with consumers of home, community, or residential aged care services.
  • The What Matters Most Discussion Starter with questions about the older person, about their health and about what they might want at the end of their life. The questions can be used by the health or aged care worker to guide the conversation with the older person as they explore What Matters Most to them.
  • The What Matters Most cards which can be used as prompts when working through the Discussion Starter or can be used as an ice breaker to get the person thinking about What Matters Most to them.

Ordering caring@home carer packages

New process for Victorian services

Until recently, caring@home carer packages in Victoria were provided by Shannon's Bridge. Moving forward, all Victorian orders will be provided centrally by the caring@home project team.

Victorian services can order carer packages here

Education & training opportunities

For health professionals who care for Aboriginal & TSI people with a life-limiting illness 

Workshop: PEPA Culture Centred Care - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives

Presented by VACCHO and PEPA

Attend this Workshop to understand issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with their journey into the dreaming. 

This free, interactive workshop for palliative care providers will focus on considerations for implementing cultural safety into practice. Topics include:

  • Impact of history and intergenerational trauma
  • Importance of kinship and community
  • Culturally appropriate communication
  • 'Sorry business'
When: Tuesday 24 March 9.30am - 2.15pm
Where: East Melbourne
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

For those who have completed a PEPA placement 

Workshop: Post-PEPA - Keeping it Contemporary in Palliative Care

Presented by Program of Experience in Palliative Care (PEPA)

Attend this Workshop to acquire knowledge, skills and confidence in providing palliative care for people with a life-limiting illness, and their families. 

This free, interactive workshop for health professional who have completed a PEPA placement is facilitated by Associate Professor Mark Boughey, Director of Palliative Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital and Karen Quinn, Coordinator of Education, Centre for Palliative Care. Topics include: 

  • Improving palliative care practice at the coalface
  • Contemporary dyspnoea management
  • Advance care planning in clinical practice
  • How do we know we are communicating effectively?

When: Wednesday 4 March 9.30am - 3.30pm
Where: RACV Healesville Country Club
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

For clinicians & medical students

End of Life Law for Clinicians and OPA Workshop

Presented by the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)  

End of Life Law for Clinicians (ELLC) is a free training program for clinicians and medical students about the law relating to end of life decision-making. This interactive workshop will involve discussion of end of life law in the context of a clinical case study.

Presenters and topics include: 
  • Professor Ben White from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will present the case study, with clinical co-presenter 
  • Dr Barbara Hayes, Clinical Leader – Advance Care Planning, Palliative Care Consultant, Northern Health.
  • Sonia Gardiner from OPA will then present a 30 minute session on Victoria’s Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016.
When: 21 February 2020, 10am - 12.30pm
Where: Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission, Carlton
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

For those working or interested in perinatal palliative care 

Victorian Perinatal Palliative Care Symposium

Presented by the Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program

This inaugural multidisciplinary event aims to provide a perinatal palliative care update and facilitate discussion about the challenges and pathways forward to improve the provision of perinatal palliative care services in Victoria. The day will consist of a mixture of case-based discussion, parental experiences and a facilitated panel discussion.

When: Friday 20 March 8.30am - 5pm
Where: Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville
Cost: $110 - $130
For further information: Click here 

For aged care nurses

Aged Care Nursing – Improving Quality of Life Conference

Presented by Ausmed

This 2-day conference provides nurses and related health professionals with specialist knowledge that enables empathetic, holistic care of older adults. Learning outcomes include:

  • Respond to the needs of older people who require person-centred care
  • Plan holistic care in conjunction with older people, who have chronic conditions, that is attuned to their desired outcomes
  • Develop and document care plans that are based on the individual’s preference and current evidence relating to their specific needs
  • Improve the wellbeing of older people by implementing a range of simple but effective activities
When: 27 - 28 February 2020
Where: Oaks on Collins, Melbourne
Cost: Fees apply
For further information or to register: Click here

For volunteers and managers of volunteers

2020 Volunteers Conference 

Presented by Palliative Care Victoria (PCV)

This year's conference theme is “Volunteering 2020 – the future is now” and the topics are:

  • Grief and Loss
  • Diversity/CALD
  • New volunteer programs/roles
  • Dementia
  • Self-care/wellbeing

When: Wednesday 20 May 2020
Where: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
Ticket prices are as follows: 

  • Volunteer Metropolitan Melbourne: $20
  • Volunteer outside Metropolitan Melbourne: free
  • Employee Metropolitan Melbourne: $70
  • Employee outside Metropolitan Melbourne: $35
Further information and a link for registration will be available soon on the Conference website.

For everyone

Understanding Dementia MOOC

Presented by Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre

Understanding Dementia is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offering university-quality education about the latest in dementia research and care. This free course provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of an international community, without requiring exams or assignments. 

The course provides knowledge designed to maximise quality of life across the trajectory of dementia for people with the condition, their families and carers.

When: Course opens 18 February (with 7 weeks of scheduled content)
Where: Online from your PC or device
Costs: Free
For further information or to enroll: Click here

Education & training opportunities calendar

Education and training opportunities are listed on our website calendar and can be viewed as a list, by calendar month or by day.  Simply use the View As button on the right side of the page to make your selection. 

Information & resources

Reports & a summary policy paper: Exploratory analysis of barriers to palliative care

The Department of Health has released a series of reports and accompanying Summary Policy Paper  

These documents report on key barriers and promising approaches for improving access to and experience of palliative care for 9 population groups within Australia.


2020 Multi-faith calendar

Spiritual Health Association has produced a colourful multi-faith religious and cultural events calendar for your use in 2020 which reflects the many major religious and cultural events for the year ahead.


Raising awareness of dementia in multicultural Australia

Moving Pictures, an innovative multi-media project, aims to change this through the production of 15 short films co-produced with people from Hindi-, Tamil-, Mandarin-, Cantonese- and Arabic-speaking communities. For each language, there are three films: Detection and Diagnosis, Navigating Care, and the Carer Journey.

These films are based on the stories and lived experiences of carers of people living with dementia, and the expert views of key service providers.

Getting the language right: Writing for the NDIS 

To write effective supporting documentation for people with disabilities and complex support needs seeking access to the NDIS (or needing to change existing plans), you need to get the words right. 

This health practitioner's guide to writing reports, letters, forms and assessments for the NDIS was produced by the Summer Foundation  with funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and with support from for the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.


Fact sheet: NDIS and Palliative Care 

This fact sheet, produced by the SMRPCC especially for palliative care practitioners, summarises who is eligible for the NDIS, what's funded by the NDIS and how to access it. It also includes a section identifying issues for palliative care and information about how to intervene when the need for support is urgent. 


Position Statement: Advance Care Directives within community & residential aged care 


Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) has released a position statement regarding ACDs in residential and community aged care. It identifies common issues and includes recommendations to help ensure the delivery of legally-compliant and ethically-sound advance care planning. 


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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