Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

October 2021

Monthly Update
In this update:

SMRPCC Annual Clinical Forum - RESCHEDULED
Palliative Care Advice Service - Free confidential advice for everyone
Caresearch - new and interactive portal
It's National Carers Week - resources to get involved
Free online education - End of Life Law for Clinicians
Monthly information sessions from the OPA 
Online calendar of local training and education opportunities
Education & training opportunities
     For GPs and practice nurses
     For those working in aged care
     For those providing EOL or palliative care for children
     For those working in EOL and palliative care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
     For everyone
Information & resources
     Delirium Clinical Care Standard: Revised guidelines 
     New ACP form  
Information & support hub: Trauma and aged care
     Guidelines for management of COPD
     Activity Report from the VAD Review Board 
     Podcast - What happens when I die?
     Understanding Palliative Care - A guide for people with cancer  
Responding to COVID-19 - multiple resources and links to key websites
About the SMRPCC

SMRPCC Annual Clinical Forum

Rescheduled to February 2022

To ensure the safety of all colleagues working in our member services, the decision has been made to reschedule our annual regional clinical forum to February. 

We look forward to welcoming the new year with a day of sharing, learning and networking for staff from our regional specialist palliative care services. The forum will be held at the usual venue; Sandy by the Bay at the Sandringham Football Club.

We'll confirm the date and provide further details of the program and presenters in the next monthlu update. 

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 Print a copy for your lunchroom or notice board!

Sharing this monthly update is best done by forwarding it because it maintains the embedded hyperlinks. However, if you cannot forward this update to your staff or colleagues, you can print a copy and display it on your staff noticeboard.
The printed version includes instructions (on the last page) to view the update on our website and access the links to services, resources and educational opportunities.
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Free confidential advice

For everyone

The Palliative Care Advice Service (PCAS) offers free, confidential advice for anyone who needs information about a life-limiting illness, palliative or end-of-life care.

The service is funded by the Victorian Government and operated by the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

This advice service is for everyone in Victoria and is for non-emergency health advice only

  • To contact PCAS phone 1800 360 000.
  • To download a PCAS postcard: Click here
  • To view the flyer: Click here


New and interactive portal

Caresearch recently launched its new and interactive portal to empower everyone in Australia to make informed palliative care decisions.

The new CareSearch Portal has evidence-based information resources and tools to support:

To learn how the new CareSearch Portal was developed, plus the research, consultations, and partnerships that shaped its content and design, you can read this blog written by CareSearch Director Professor Jennifer Tieman.

It's National Carers Week

How are you showing your support?

Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged – anyone at any time can become a carer.

National Carers Week runs from October 10-16 and is an opportunity to recognise, celebrate, and raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of Australia's 2.65 million carers and their caring roles. Visit Carer's Australia for a variety of suggestions and resources to get involved and raise awareness of the incredible contribution that unpaid carers make to our nation.

Free online education

10 new and updated modules

End of Life Law for Clinicians (ELLC) is a free national training program for clinicians about the law relating to end-of-life decision-making across Australia. 
ELLC has launched 10 new and updated online training modules for medical practitioners and students, nurses, and allied and other health professionals. Watch this video to learn more.

Topics include capacity and consent to medical treatment, withholding and withdrawing treatment, Advance Care Directives, substitute decision-making, legal protection for providing pain relief, futile or non-beneficial treatment, emergency treatment, end-of-life decision-making for children, and managing disputes. 

Regular online information sessions

Free and presented every month 

The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) has introduced a series of short weekly webinars and longer monthly webinars, that cover the following topics on a rotating schedule:
  • Enduring powers of attorney,
  • Medical treatment decision-making, and
  • Guardianship and administration
No registration is required, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. 

For further information, a calendar of events, and links to the sessions, visit the Information sessions page of the OPA website.
Education & training opportunities calendar

See upcoming local and online activities

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. 

Education & training opportunities

For GPs and practice nurses

Palliative care for general practitioners (online)

Presented by Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

This 2-hour workshop is for General Practitioners based in Victoria who care for people with a life-limiting illness. Practice Nurses are also welcome to attend. 

This interactive education session utilises group discussion and case studies to provide a greater understanding of palliative care. Topics include:

  • Recognising patients who need palliative care
  • Communicating about end-of-life issues
  • Voluntary assisted dying in Victoria
  • Assessing and managing common symptoms

Facilitated by: Dr Rowan Hearn, Clinical Director Palliative Medicine, Calvary Health Care Bethlehem

When: Tuesday 19 October 6pm – 8pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information and to register: Click here
Please note: This workshop includes a prerequisite activity – details are available through the link above.

Pain Management in Palliative Care for GP’s (online)

Presented by Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

This 2-hour workshop is for General Practitioners based in Victoria who care for people with a life-limiting illness. Practice Nurses are also welcome to attend. 

Facilitated by:  Dr Fiona Runacres, palliative care specialist, with clinical appointments at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem and Monash Health.

When: Wednesday 17 November 6pm – 8pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information and to register: Click here
Please note: This workshop includes a prerequisite activity – details are available through the link above.

For those working in aged care

Victorian Aged Care Education & Training (VACET)

Developed by ACEBAC at La Trobe University

The scope of this education and training package is to build capacity and capability within the Victorian Residential aged care sector workforce. The focus is on three care areas:

  • Dementia Care
  • Recognising and providing a palliative response to care
  • Oral and dental hygiene and links to health and well-being

Each category of learning has a number of modules that have been designed to be completed in around 30 minutes.

When: On demand
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to access the modules: Click here

For those providing EOL or palliative care for children 

Communication, conflict and caring in paediatric palliative care

Presented as part of the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Conference (APHC)

This workshop will explore communication with children and with their families, including facilitating appropriate communication between children and parents and managing challenging conversations. Communication in the context of teamwork in paediatric palliative care will also be discussed.  The format of this workshop will include formal presentation (in English), scenarios with worked examples and group discussion.

When: Friday 12 Nov 6pm - 8pm (Melbourne time and 4pm - 6pm in Singapore)
Where: Online from your PC or device
Cost: Fees apply
For further information or to register for the workshop: Click here

Paediatric End-of-Life Care module 

Presented by the End-of-Life Essentials Project

This Paediatric End-of-Life Care module discusses 'Gemma', a young patient who has had many presentations to hospital. In this free online module health professionals can learn to: 
  • Develop an awareness of your own attitudes to the death of a child
  • Analyse and adopt communication responses to common questions in paediatric end-of-life care
  • Apply a critical approach to symptom management in children who are living with life limiting conditions
  • Recognise that compassion in fast paced environments is possible
  • Recognise the most helpful responses to moral distress.

When: On demand
Where: Online from your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or access the module: Click here

For those providing EOL and palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Culturally Responsive Palliative Care for Aboriginal People 

Presented by the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

This online workshop is delivered over two weeks and aims to improve health care professionals' knowledge, skills and confidence in the palliative approach to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a life-limiting illness. 

When: Tuesday 9 & 16 November 10am - 12pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to watch the video: Click here

For everyone

Understanding dementia MOOC 

Presented by Wicking Dementia Centre, University of Tasmania

This free online course offers the latest in dementia research and care. It provides knowledge designed to maximise quality of life across the journey of dementia for people with the condition, their families and caregivers. Average of 3 hours per week over 7 weeks to complete.

When: February 2022
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or register: Click here

Hot Topics Webinar - In Sunset's Glow: Life, death and the older person 

Presented by The Centre for Palliative Care

This talk by Dr Lisa Mitchell will address questions about where, why and how older people die and the role that recognition of dying and Advance Care Planning have to play. The findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and how ageism impacts on provision of care (including palliative care) for older people will also be examined along with work that is emerging in Geroscience and how to reimagine ageing in ourselves and others.

When: Wednesday 27 October 4pm - 5pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or register: Click here

Information & resources

Delirium Clinical Care Standard: Revised guidelines 

This updated clinical care standard aims to improve the prevention of delirium in patients at risk – and the early diagnosis and treatment of patients with delirium. The Delirium Clinical Care Standard is made up of eight quality statements, a set of indicators for safe and appropriate care and includes sections especially for consumers, for clinicians and for health service organisations.

New advance care plan form 

Advance Care Planning Australia has released a new national form for advance care plans that can be used for a person with insufficient decision-making capacity. The document is most relevant to aged care services, and especially residential aged providers as many people living in residential aged care have cognitive impairment and may have lost decision-making capacity.  


Information & support hub: Trauma and aged 

Many older people have experienced trauma at some point in their life. Aged care workers can also be exposed to trauma as part of their work. This online hub from Phoenix Australia makes available free information and resources for people affected by trauma and those who support them.

Guidelines for management of COPD 

This COPD-X Concise guide provides a concise summary of the key evidence-based recommendations from  The COPD-X Plan:  Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of COPD.

This resource addresses the five key areas of clinical practice for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Australia and includes practice tips and highlights relevant sources of further information where applicable.

Activity Report: Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board 

The independent Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board has tabled its latest activity report in Victorian Parliament, including, for the first time, specific information about applicants who have accessed palliative care. Since Victoria’s historic laws first came into effect on 19 June 2019, the report shows 82 per cent of applicants were receiving support from palliative care services at the time they applied for voluntary assisted dying. 

Podcast - What happens when I die? 

This podcast series is produced by Australian Unity. In this episode host Anna Hacker is joined by Jessie Williams of the Groundswell Project. They discuss death, why it is so important to plan for the future and how to start conversations about what to do when you die.


New edition: Understanding Palliative Care - A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends 

Understanding Palliative Care - A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends is a Cancer Council resource prepared to help people understand more about palliative care, and written specifically for people affected by advanced cancer. First published in 2003 and updated every two years, the latest edition has just been published.


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 56 other languages 

The Department of Health and Human Services (Vic) has created web pages and resources in 56 languages which provide Information, updates and advice about the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Topics include: 
  • Face coverings
  • Current restrictions
  • Advice for all Victorians
  • Support available
  • Resources

Information in audio and video format

Health Translations is the one site where people can access high-quality consumer-focused translated materials on COVID-19 produced by government & community agencies Australia-wide.
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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
Jane Newbound......Aged Care Project Officer..... .0433 418 
Lee-Anne Henley....MND Shared Care Worker......0428 264
Stephenie Cook .....Training Consultant.................0417 859

Our members include:

Ex Officio Members include:

  • Cabrini Palliative Care Services
  • Bolton Clarke
  • Southern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS)

For general inquiries to the SMRPCC please email 

Copyright © 2021 Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium, All rights reserved.
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