Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

July 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 app to support the mental health of healthcare workers
Palliative care services in Australia: Updated report from the AIHW
palliMEDS app now with opioid calculator
Update from My Aged Care
Palliative care & end of life care advice line
HealthInfoNet: Palliative and end of life care portal & new Yarning Places
This week - ACGB e-Conference 
Education & training opportunities
     For those working in palliative care
     For residential aged care providers
 Information & resources
     Blog post: CPR discussions and decisions    
Webcast: What is palliative care
     Resource: Self-care matters
     Palliative care economic report: Investing to save   
Resource to support intercultural communication: The little things
     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.

Looking after the mental health of healthcare workers

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. The program covers topics such as:
  • Connection
  • Managing stress
  • Mindfulness foundations
  • Resilience
  • Sleep 
  • Thinking clearly
For further information, click here or download the app from Google Play or the App Store.

Palliative care services in Australia

Updated online report now available 

The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) has released the 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.

palliMEDS app

Now with opioid calculator

A new version of the popular palliMEDS app is in the final stages of development and is expected to be available this month (July). 

The new version includes a handy opioid conversion calculator. The calculator is a tool designed to provide support to a clinician where a palliative care patient needs to be switched from some, or all, of their current opioids, to a replacement opioid delivered by the subcutaneous route.

palliMEDS app can be used offline (without internet connection) and is free and can be downloaded from either Google Play or the App Store.

My Aged Care update


Consumers can now register with My Aged Care via the website and apply for their first assessment online, or on behalf of someone else. Apply by using the online form as an alternative to calling the My Aged Care contact centre.
 In an emergency older Australians can access short-term home support services (such as meals or personal care) through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) without having had an aged care assessment. Just call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

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.

New from HealthInfoNet

Yarning Places

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet aims to contribute to ‘closing the gap’ in health between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians by making knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health readily available to the workforce.
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.  

For information about culturally appropriate palliative and end-of-life care, grief and bereavement and planning ahead, visit HealthInfoNet's Palliative and End-of-Life Care portal.  

Happening this week! 

Join the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) for their e-Conference which includes a week of webinars to engage, educate, and entertain the grief and bereavement community.

For further details or to register for a webinar: Click here

Education & training opportunities

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 residential aged care providers

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 

Information & resources

Blog post: CPR discussions and decisions

CPR discussions and decisions: a necessary part of medical treatment planning is a blog post by Dr Barbara Hayes, Clinical Lead – Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care Consultant at Northern Health (Melbourne) to raise awareness of CPR decision-making and ensuring a person's preferences or advance care planning can be incorporated into a medical treatment CPR plan should a cardiac arrest occur.

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.

Resource: Self-Care Matters

Designed by internationally recognised self-care expert Dr Jason Mills, Self-Care Matters is a comprehensive, evidence-based 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.

Investing to save - KPMG Palliative Care Economic Report

This report, by Palliative Care Australia and prepared by KPMG calls for an overhaul of the palliative care system in Australia, including an additional annual investment of just over $350 million, which will result in a saving of over $450 million across the broader health care system every year. The report also calls for a national agreement on palliative care between the Commonwealth and the states and territories, and a new full-time Palliative Care Commissioner, to help create the best experience possible for those with life-limiting conditions and those around them.


New resources to support intercultural communication skills

The Little Things is a ready-to-use training resources produced by Meaningful Ageing Australia that delivers evidence-based training to develop personal carers’ skills to relate as they provide care to older Australians in aged care settings. Developed with input from best practice carers, older people, and industry experts, this resource will help develop intercultural communication skills for personal carers working in aged 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


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.


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 


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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