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Conversing about palliative care with general practice: PHN marks National Palliative Care Week

03 July 2023
Healthy ageing

This year’s National Palliative Care Week focused on starting conversations around Matters of Life and Death.

Brisbane North PHN gave primary health professionals the opportunity to do just that at a Palliative Care Evening for General Practice hosted during the same week last month.

Over 120 health professionals came together for the education and networking event on Wednesday 25 May. Leading physicians shared insights on contemporary palliative care practice, including aged care and its relationship with voluntary assisted dying.

The event, supported by funding from Department of Health and Aged Care’s Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care measure, was well received with 95% of attendees stating they would recommend it to their colleagues. One GP commented that the event was useful in “realising how willing and able the community palliative care services are to access and help.”

Dr Sue Colen’s presentation made me think about comprehensive care, and Dr Bill Lukin (Acting Director, Metro North Health Community Palliative Care Service) and Nicole Hutchinson (Nurse Practitioner, SPACE Program) made me think about sustainable practice and the place of palliative care in aged care, said one attendee.

I think the event was exemplary” commented another attendee. “The session was collegial and collaborative”.

The evening was also an opportunity to connect practitioners with 16 specialist palliative care services and supports in the region and build networks to enhance the ability of primary care teams to deliver palliative care. Attending practitioners left feeling empowered and “confident to start conversations, and start planning” around end of life care and VAD within their practices and with patients.

Meanwhile, Brisbane North PHN CEO Libby Dunstan attended the Governor’s Afternoon Tea for National Palliative Care Week. The reception was hosted with support from Palliative Care Queensland Inc., who do important and meaningful work in supporting Queenslanders to live, die and grieve well.

Brisbane North PHN will continue to explore future education and networking to strengthen at home palliative care for the region. Access to recordings of the presentation and materials from the evening are available to access by contacting Caroline Irle, Project Lead via email at Caroline.irle@brisbanenorthphn.org.au.

Pall Care

CEO Libby Dunstan (centre) attends the National Palliative Care Week reception at Government House, Brisbane with Kim, Mingary Care (left) and Sarah Bone, Carers QLD (right).