Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

May 2020

Email Update
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In this update:

We're still here to support you 
New resources from SMRPCC to support those working in RACFs 
New palliative care & end of life care advice line
National Volunteer Week resources 
National Palliative Care Week - Make a video and download resources
Electronic prescriptions - available soon
Things you should know about the Advance Project
Self care resources
Responding to COVID 19 -  information and resources
Education & training opportunities
     For those working in residential aged care
     For everyone 
Information & resources
     Palliaged resources: Caring for older persons with mental illness
     Guidance on anticipatory medicines
     Video to help Victorians complete ACDs
     Spiritual care during COVID-19
     Forum report: Ethical decision-making framework for triage during COVID-19 epidemic
About the SMRPCC

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.

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. 

SMRPCC Aged Care Project 

New resources to support staff working in residential aged care facilities (RACFs)

To support you during this time, Jane Newbound, Aged Care Project Worker has sourced a suite of resources and developed a newsletter series to support the continued delivery of safe, quality care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following newsletters and resources are now available:   Newsletters and resources will continue to be distributed and uploaded to our website as they become available.

NEW - 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 will will operate from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week through the Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service. 

To contact the advice service call 1800 360 000.


At this uncertain time it is more important than ever to recognise and acknowledge volunteers.

Volunteering Australia encourages organisations to consider online activities and events. Resources and gifts are available on their website.

National Palliative Care Week

Submit your videos and download campaign resources

National Palliative Care Week will be held from Sunday 24 May – Saturday 30 May, with the theme “Palliative Care… It’s more than you think”.

To coincide with National Palliative Care Week, Palliative Care Victoria (PCV) is launching a video-based community awareness campaign that aims to educate and celebrate how palliative care is much more than what many people think. 

PCV is asking health care workers, aged care workers, volunteers and their community partners around Victoria to share personal examples, in a 30 second self-video, of how palliative care, is more than you think.

The videos will be tagged #MoreThanYouThink and #NPCW2020 and posted on the PCV YouTube channel for public viewing and promotion.  The best examples will be uploaded to their Facebook page daily.

Full detail on how to participate can be found in this flyer or on the PCV webpage

National Palliative Care Week resources  including logos, posters, banners and social media assets are also available to help  spark important conversations in the community about the benefits of quality palliative care and celebrate the amazing dedication of all those working and volunteering in palliative care across Australia.

Electronic Prescriptions

Fast-tracked & ready for use by end of May

The work to implement ePrescribing was fast-tracked to support telehealth consultations during the pandemic. 

Prescribers and dispensers will be able to use electronic prescriptions (ePrescribing) by the end of May.

Prescribers will have the option of sending either a digital token to their patients via email/SMS or print out the standard paper prescription.

This should make it much easier to follow up after telehealth consultations, and avoids inefficient workarounds for communicating the paper prescriptions to the pharmacy.

Note: Palliative Care services using the PalCare application may experience a delay in access to e-prescribing. Please contact Palcare for further information

The Advance Project

Things you should know

The Advance Project is an evidence-based toolkit and training package specifically designed to support GPs, nurses and practice managers to initiate advance care planning conversations and assess patients’ and carers’ palliative and supportive care needs.
There is FREE online training which counts towards CPD requirements.

There is also an experienced palliative care nurse is available to provide free individual or small group telephone mentoring and coaching for GPs, nurses and practice managers regarding implementing the Advance Project resources into general practice.

For further information, visit the Advance Project website or view this flyer.

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.

How to use personal protective equipment (PPE) - This 7-minute video from the RACGP demonstrates how to apply, remove and dispose of PPE safely, and how to sanitise your hands.

7 tips for reducing feelings of isolation - These tips come from Modern Loss and provide ways to care for physical and mental wellbeing.

Nurse & Midwife Support - This national support service is available 24/7 and provides access to confidential referral and advice for nurses and midwives. 

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. 

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.

Resources relevant to palliative care and COVID-19


Links to relevant international websites and documents

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) has compiled a list of resources relevant to palliative care and COVID-19 published by academia, civil society organizations, member states and special agencies of the United Nations, including links to all of the websites and documents.


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.

Caresearch Palliative care and COVID-19 Hub

CareSearch has developed this online Hub to support health professionals and care staff to prepare in case the demand for end-of-life care increases during the pandemic. 

The live hub is being updated weekly and features appraised resources on issues such as caring for the dying and seriously ill, telehealth, medicines and practice management, infection control, communication, ethics, and self-care. It has tailored sections for GPs and primary carenursesallied health professionalshospitalssupporting diverse populationsaged carepaediatrics, and staff looking for online learning

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 

Prof Joe Covid-19 Aged Care Podcast series

Prof Joe (aka Professor Joseph Ibrahim) hosts a podcast series about Coronavirus COVID 19 in Aged Care.

Education & training opportunities

For residential aged care providers

Nutrition and hydration in palliative care

Presented by Cancer Council WA

This two-part interactive video conference workshop aims to look at the practical management associated with nutrition and hydration in palliative care for residential aged care providers.

Learning areas include:
  1. A Palliative Approach and Phases of Palliative Care
  2. The nutritional management at each phase
  3. Practical management of nutritional needs
  4. Advance Care Planning
Designed for: Facility Managers, Doctors, Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, Aboriginal Health Workers

When: 25 May & 8 June (2-part video conference) 11am - 1pm AEST
Where: Online from your PC or device 
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

Guidelines for a palliative approach to aged care in the community

Presented by the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association (AHHA)

This free online training includes 6 modules designed to support RACFs to apply the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach to Aged Care in the Community to their practice. It includes the knowledge, skills and values that are required to communicate and contribute to the care of clients in the community who have a life limiting illness and or are approaching the final stages of the normal ageing process.

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

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

Supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic

Presented by The Achievement Program (Cancer Council Victoria)

This free webinar includes speakers from Beyond Blue, R U OK? and Mental Health First Aid Australia and provides information and tips on supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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


Presented by the Centre for Ethnicity and Health (CEH)

Teach-back is a communication technique to reduce the chance of misunderstanding between two people. In this free lunchtime webinar, find out what teach-back is, why it's effective and how to do it right.

When: Tuesday 2 June 12pm - 12.30pm
Where: Online from your PC or device 
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

Information & resources

Caring for older persons with mental illness

palliAGED has developed new online resources on understanding and caring for older persons suffering from mental illness and approaching the end of their life. Accessible via their Evidence Centre and Practice Centre pages.

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.

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.

Spiritual care during COVID-19  

Meaningful Ageing Australia has produced this resource which provides ideas from leading for spiritual care during the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Forum report: Ethical decision-making framework for triage during COVID-19 epidemic  

The Health Issues Centre (HIC) hosted an online forum in April 2020 to initiate discussion around an ethical decision-making framework for triage during the COVID-19 epidemic.This document provides an overview of the content presented and brings together the questions, comments and recommendations of those who contributed to the forum. 



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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