One of the Enduring Strategy areas of the Sustainable Health Review reflects the desire to ensure that our patients have a dignified end of life.
Palliative and end of life care are often not seen as part of subacute care, but increasingly we are hearing from clinicians who are caring for individuals in their final stages of life when specialist Palliative and end of life services are not available. TRACS WA have formed a number of partnerships with relevant organisations to support subacute care clinicians to deliver palliative and end of life care.
We are delighted to have two palliative care experts join our Steering Committee: Dr Paula Moffatt, (Geriatrician and Consultant in Palliative Care Medicine at Bethesda Hospital Palliative Care Unit) and Ed Gaudoin (Clinical Nurse Consultant - Program Coordinator, Metropolitan Palliative Care Consultancy Service (MPaCCS) at Bethesda Health Care).
MPaCCS is a mobile specialist palliative care team, focusing on capacity building of the palliative care sector workforce through training, education, assistance and mentoring where there are currently no specialist palliative care consultation services available for residents or patients. Referrals are accepted from hospital staff engaged in the discharge planning for patients who will transfer to a facility or institution. MPaCCS also have a large number of excellent resources on their website to support the delivery of palliative and end of life care. https://www.bethesda.org.au/MPaCCS.aspx
We are collaborating with the ‘education arm’ of the Cancer Council - Palliative and Supportive Care Education (PaSCE). PaSCE provide free training to health clinicians, and have some excellent resources, short courses and online training available. https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/professionals/pasce/ Development Facilitator, Katie Sutton, is currently working with the PaSCE team on facilitator guides for some videos on supporting delivery of palliative and end of life care.
Finally, the electronic version of the Goals of Patient Care (GoPC) form has been launched in some health jurisdictions recently. The need for documented discussions about a patient’s wishes in the event of a deterioration in their health status, or an acute medical event, has been brought into sharp focus during the COVID 19 pandemic. The GoPC process promotes planning and shared decision making about care. Completed plans can now be added to a patient’s electronic MyHealthRecord under the Advance Care Planning tab. TRACS WA will shortly be offering training to subacute care clinicians around these processes.
There is lots of information about the GoPC process, and other resources related to palliative and end of life care, on the TRACS WA website: Palliative Care resources