Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

October 2020

Email Update

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In this update:

Residential aged care webpage - regularly updated
Cultural diversity and palliative care - free online workshops
SMRPCC Annual Report - now available
Survey for health workers - ensure the experiences of palliative care professionals is represented
Use of palliative care predictive or prognostic tools - survey open until 31 October
Translated information about COVID-19 - audio & video formats
VITALity Festival - 9 days of free entertainment and wellness classes
New app - The Essential Network for health professionals (TEN) 
Part of Life - new national campaign from CareSearch
PCNA Conference - early bird rates available until 23 October
Education & training opportunities
     For those working in palliative care
     For those who want to know more about palliative care
     For GPs and Practice Nurses
     For health & social services professionals   
Information & resources
     Palli8: Plan to improve palliative care in aged care 
WellMob: Culturally relevant online resources 
     Victorian cancer plan 2020 - 2024
     PalliMeds with opioid calculator
     When someone dies: A practical guide available in 5 languages
     Responding to COVID-19 : Multiple links and resources
About the SMRPCC
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Residential aged care web page 

Updated regularly

The SMRPCC Aged Care web page is regularly updated with information and resources to support RACF staff, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources include: 
  • Invitations to educational activities
  • Fact sheets
  • information and guidelines relating to PPE
  • Screening tools and
  • links to Jane's newsletters
Jane Newbound, SMRPCC's Aged Care Project Worker is still available by phone on 0433418010 or via email to provide information, support and education.

Cultural diversity and palliative care 

5 free online workshops 

Places are limited so register now!

Join our free 50-minute online sessions and improve your knowledge and skill around cultural diversity in the palliative care context.

Workshops will be delivered via Zoom. Topics and dates include:
For further information: View the flyer or visit the SMRPCC training calendar

SMRPCC 2020 Annual Report 

Now available

During 2019-2020 the Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium:
  • Strengthened our focus on older people, both within and outside residential aged care facilities
  • Visited all 160+ Residential Aged Care facilities in our region and developed a communication strategy to ensure relevant information is delivered and received across the sector
  • Delivered our first Aged Care Forum
  • Adapted some of our training programs to be facilitated online
  • Delivered education to 820 palliative and aged care staff
  • Developed one new webcast to answer the question
    What is Palliative Care?
  • Added 5 new podcasts to the MND & Palliative Care podcast series (which have been downloaded more than 400 times)
  • Had an increase to the number of people who follow our Disability Project Facebook page  
For further highlights and to view the report: Click here.

Survey examining the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers

Ensure the experience of palliative care professionals is represented!

This study is being conducted by a team of frontline clinicians and researchers from Melbourne Health, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne and Monash University.

To date they have received over 8000 responses from healthcare workers across Australia but the study team are very keen to ensure the experiences of staff providing palliative care in Victoria are understood and represented. 

Your input will help them to propose solutions to support the healthcare workforce during this and future crises.

The survey is open to medical, nursing, allied health, clerical and other staff working in inpatient and community healthcare settings. The pandemic has changed our social and work environments in many different ways, so you do not need to have worked directly with people with COVID-19 to participate.

For further information and to access the survey: Click here 

Be quick! The survey closes Monday 19 October.

Healthcare workforce survey

Use of palliative care predictive or prognostic tools

To assist healthcare workers to provide the services needed by people approaching the end of life, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the ‘Commission’) has engaged HealthConsult to develop and administer a national survey to determine:

  • the tools used by healthcare workers to identify patients nearing the end of life
  • the extent to which these tools are used within different settings
  • the facilitators and barriers for using the tools.

Ultimately the results will be used by the Commission and the Commonwealth Department of Health to guide quality improvement practices nationally.  

Please note:

  • All healthcare workers are invited to complete this survey.
  • The survey is open from 1 October to 31 October 2020 and only takes 2-5 minutes to complete.

Do you need translated information about COVID-19?

Information available in audio and video formats 

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.
  • Looking for a SPECIFIC LANGUAGE? Click here
  • For COVID-19 resources produced by DHHS Victoria? Click here
  • To see the complete COVID-19 resource collection? Click here
  • Do you want to see VIDEOS only? Click here
The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) specialises in Health Literacy and Cultural Competence capacity building and training and manages Health Translations on behalf of DHHS. The Health Translations directory includes 22,000+ free, online health & wellbeing resources in over 100 languages.

VITALity Festival

9 days of free entertainment and wellbeing classes

The goal of this virtual festival is to inspire over 10,000 frontline workers with a series of health, wellbeing and entertainment activities. 

The festival starts on October 31st and ends on November 8 and will be presented via Zoom. Attend for an hour, a day or for the whole event. Registration is absolutely free and can be completed online by clicking here.

As a registered user you'll be able to attend any of the live classes and lessons during the entire 9-Day VITAlity Festival and also receive a recording of the entire festival after it finishes.

TEN - The Essential Network for health professionals

App to support Health Professionals to manage life and work through COVID-19.

Developed by health professionals for health professionals, this app is a one stop resource and help centre, providing self-assessment, self-management and treatment for stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. For further information and to download the app: Click here. 

Part of Life

New national campaign from CareSearch

CareSearch has launched the Part of Life national campaign which aims to encourage all Australians to learn, care, and plan for end of life. 

The campaign highlights the six guiding principles of the National Palliative Care Strategy, which have been identified as fundamental to ensure that all people experience the palliative care they need.

To learn more about the campaign: Click here

Early bird rates available until 23 October

This biennial conference brings together Australian and New Zealand nurses with an interest in delivering high quality, contemporary palliative care.

With several plenary sessions, concurrent sessions and workshops, the structure of the conference provides the ideal environment for these activities to occur. The virtual format offers greater flexibility to those wishing to participate in the conference and facilitates networking with a far wider audience.

For further information and to register: Click here

Education & training opportunities

For those working in palliative care

Setting our workforce up for success; building capacity for communication skills training

Presented by Palliative Nexus

Guest speaker and thought leader Professor Peter Martin from Deakin University will present this session as part of the Pal-Spective webinar series. 

When: Wednesday 21 October 4pm  
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information and to register: Click here

Hot Topic Webinar: The Power of Language

Presented by the Centre for Palliative Care

Three experienced speakers will present their reflections on language used in the care of those with advanced illness and in palliative care from their key perspectives, and will offer thoughts on how communication can be improved.

When: Tuesday 27 October 4.15 - 5.15pm  
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information and to register: Click here

For those who want to learn about palliative care

Palliative care education sessions - 8 topics available

Presented by Banksia Palliative Care

Banksia’s comprehensive interactive virtual palliative care education sessions have been developed to provide all attendees with greater understanding and knowledge of general palliative care principles. Attendees can participate in single or multiple sessions to enhance their palliative care skills and knowledge.
  • Session 1 - Introduction to Palliative Care 21 Oct
  • Session 2 - Importance of psychosocial support 28 Oct
  • Session 3 - Pain management 4 Nov
  • Session 4 - End of life supports 11 Nov
  • Session 5 - Opioid conversions and syringe drivers 18 Nov
  • Session 6 - Symptom management part 1 25 Nov
  • Session 7 - Symptom management part 2 2 Dec
  • Session 8 - Palliative emergencies, treatments and assessment tools
Where: Online via MS Teams
Cost: $220 per session (Discounts apply for multiple session bookings)
For further information and to register: View the flyer

For GPs and practice nurses 

Online training modules: Inclusive Service Standards 

Presented by the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing

The Inclusive Service Standards were developed to assist aged care providers in the development and delivery of inclusive services to all consumers. They provide a framework for organisations to adapt and improve their services and practices so they are welcoming, safe and accessible.

These online training modules are targeted at senior aged care managers and leaders responsible for quality service provision and inclusive care and provide an introduction to each Standard, together with ideas on how they could be implemented within an organisation.

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

Dementia and pain in residential care 

Presented by Dementia Australia

This short online course aims to raise your awareness of the prevalence of pain in residential aged care, and will help you to identify some of the common causes of pain and assists you in managing pain for people living with dementia.

When: Available on demand
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: $10

For further information or to register: Click here

Palliative Care Education for General Practitioners 

Presented by PEPA

This free online 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
  • Advance care planning
When: Tuesday 27 October 6pm - 8pm
Where: Online from your PC or device 
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here 

For health & social services professionals 

Practice Matters forum: Understanding guardianship 

Presented by the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)

This free online information session discusses why and when guardianship is needed, and the role of OPA’s investigations team. This interactive forum will feature a Q & A with an Advocate Guardian and an OPA investigator.

When: Wednesday 21 October 10am - 11am
Where: Online from your PC or device (via Zoom)
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here 

Information & resources

Plan to improve palliative care in aged care: Palli8 

Palliative Care Australia's new Palli8 plan proposes eight key recommendations to improve palliative care in aged care, with calls for much needed funding to fully implement the National Palliative Care Strategy 2018, together with palliative care training for every health and aged care worker. 


Culturally relevant online resources: WellMob 

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has partnered with eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) to develop WellMob. This new website  focuses on culturally relevant online resources to support social and emotional wellbeing.

2020 - 2024 Victorian cancer plan 

Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024: improving cancer outcomes for all Victorians identifies priorities to prevent cancer, increase survival, improve participation in cancer screening and the experience of the cancer treatment and care system, and achieve equitable outcomes for all Victorians with cancer. Of particular interest to the palliative care sector are the Wellbeing and Support priority activities to: 

  • Support early access to palliative care to manage symptoms and improve quality of life and
  • Expand end-of-life care and palliative care skills and advance care planning education across the cancer workforce

Now available: palliMEDS with opioid calculator 

A new version of the popular palliMEDS app is now available for download. The new version includes a handy opioid conversion calculator, 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. Download for free from Google Play or the App Store.


When someone dies: A practical guide available in 5 languages 

When someone is dying or has died, it can be a very difficult and stressful time. Available in five languages, including easy English, this booklet provides information and practical ideas about things to do before and after an adult family member or friend dies.


Webcast: Mindfulness and meditation 

This webcast introduces the basic concepts and language around Meditation and Mindfulness and to provide useful strategies for health professionals to share with clients to assist with the management of anxiety and worry. It may also offer health professionals some strategies for their own self-care.

Podcast: Advance care planning is wrong 

Sean Morrison, Director of the National Palliative Care Research Center and Chair of the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mt. Sinai, former President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine argues that we should stop putting resources into making advance care planning and advance directives work. For further information and to access the GeriPal podcast, click here.

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: Stage 4 – metropolitan Melbourne
  • Current restrictions: Stage 3 – regional Victoria
  • Advice for all Victorians
  • Support is available
  • Resources


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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