Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care Newsletter - July 2016 as PDFWelcome to the quarterly Advance Care Planning and End of Life Newsletter, which is jointly published by the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) and the NSW Ministry of Health.

The newsletter provides updates on ACI, CEC and Ministry Advance Care Planning and End of Life projects and a guest spot for a local health district (LHD), specialty health network (SHN) or pillar to provide information on their Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care initiatives. LHDs, SHNs or pillars wishing to provide an update in Issue 3 should email:

In this edition

Guest update: The NSW Ministry of Health

On 26 May 2016, more than 90 health professionals and members of consumer groups from across NSW attended the ‘End of Life: A Reflection on NSW and Overseas Practice’ Symposium in Sydney.

The Symposium was sponsored by the NSW Ministry of Health and was a collaboration between the Spanish Embassy, the Cervantes Institute of Sydney, the Association of Spanish Researchers in Australia, the Brain and Mind Centre, Outcomes Australia – Sharelife, the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC).

The international keynote speaker was Professor Xavier Gomez-Batiste, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Palliative Care Programs and former Medical Officer for Palliative and Long Term Care at the WHO. Professor Gomez-Batiste addressed the topic ‘Integrated End of Life Care: the challenges for health care systems worldwide’ and drew on his experiences from the Catalonia project in Spain where palliative care was identified as a national public health issue. The palliative approach for all patients was extended through the MACA/NECPAL Program. Professor Gomez-Batiste addressed the importance of integrating and coordinating public policy and education; and successful implementation of a national cross-sector program.

As the local keynote speaker, Associate Professor Amanda Walker presented a comprehensive overview of the NSW Statewide Approach to Excellence in End of Life Care and the programs being delivered by the CEC, ACI, NSW Ambulance and the Ministry of Health.

Attendees also participated in a panel discussion on ‘How do we ensure excellence in end of life care happens for every patient every day?’, facilitated by Professor Lynn Gillam, Academic Director, Children’s Bioethics Centre, University of Melbourne and with the following panel members:

  • Professor Xavier Gomez-Batiste
  • Joy Bowen, Catholic Chaplain, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network
  • Colin Begg, Consumer representative
  • Peter Saul, Intensivist, John Hunter Hospital
  • George Miller, GP, Central Coast
  • Kate Spurway, Aged Care Consultant, NSW & ACT Leading Aged Services Australia
  • Therese Smeal, Palliative Care CNC, South Western Sydney LHD

A recording of the Symposium with presentations will be made available over the coming months on the NSW Ministry of Health’s Advance Care Planning website.

Agency for Clinical Innovation's update

ACI Palliative Care Network

The ACI Palliative Care Network was established in 2012 to drive continuous improvement in palliative and end of life care. In recognition that everyone can play a role in supporting or providing care to people approaching or reaching the end of their life, membership of the Network includes aged care providers, allied health professionals, carers, community health, consumers, medical practitioners, primary care providers, researchers and service managers. We invite you to join us in improving palliative and end of life care in NSW.

Palliative and End of Life Care – A Blueprint for Improvement

Provides a flexible guide for health services to meet the needs of people approaching and reaching the end of their life, their families and carers. Videos from the March Forum Supporting you on your end of life improvement journey are available. The Network and the Clinical Excellence Commission are planning further events in 2016-17 to support Local Health Districts and Specialty Networks to implement the Blueprint.

More information

For more information contact:
Heather Davey, A/Manager, ACI Palliative Care Network
Phone: (02) 9464 4666

Clinical Excellence Commission's project update

The CEC’s End of Life program aims to provide clinicians with the support and tools to ensure safe, quality end of life care for patients in NSW public health organisations.

Admitted patient death screening

The admitted patient death screening tool standardises screening of all in-patient deaths and includes indicators on the quality of dying. Specific measures at the end of life provide an opportunity for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the delivery of this care. Over 90% of facilities are using the tool and database.

‘Last Days of life’ Toolkit

Working with clinicians and consumers, tools dealing with end of life care have been developed for generalist medical and nursing staff. The tools were developed through review of current literature alongside best practice. Piloting of the tools has begun.

AMBER care bundle

A framework to encourage clinicians, patients and families to continue with treatment, if they wish, in the hope of a recovery, whilst talking openly about preferences and plans for end of life. This program is available for facilities where end of life management could be improved.

More information

For more information contact CEC End of Life Program:
Phone: (02) 9269 5596 : (02) 9269 5596

NSW Ministry of Health's update

Draft Advance Care Directive (ACD) Template

In March the Ministry of Health circulated for consultation a draft ACD Template and Information Booklet. The draft ACD Template and Information Booklet is based on the Central Coast LHD’s document. This was recommended by the Review of Advance Care Directives (ROAD) Project working group.

The Ministry received submissions from 57 stakeholders including:

  • advocacy and consumer groups
  • individual clinicians
  • LHDs and SHNs
  • NSW Ambulance Service
  • NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal- Guardianship Division
  • peak professional bodies
  • pillar agencies
  • primary health networks
  • Office of the Public Guardian

The Ministry is currently reviewing all comments received for both the template and information booklet. The final documents will be reviewed by the End of Life Implementation Advisory Committee. The Ministry plans to have a final template and information booklet available before the end of the year.

More information

For more information contact
Phone: (02) 9391 9110 : (02) 9391 9110

Last-Days-of-Life Home Support Service

The Last-Days-of-Life home support service provides home-based packages of support to help patients to die at home, if this is their wish. Supports provided include personal care and domestic assistance.

The three providers of the service (Silver Chain, a consortium led by HammondCare and a partnership led by South Western Sydney LHD) are working with the LHDs to offer packages to patients, their families and carers. In April 2016, the Minister approved funding to continue delivery of the service into the 2016-17 financial year.

More information

For more information contact
Palliative Care After Hours Helpline - 1800 548 225

The Helpline was launched by the Minister during Palliative Care week. The service provides after hours professional health information, support and advice to palliative patients, carers, parents/carers of paediatric patients, families and health professionals.

For further information please visit the NSW Health website.

Current as at: Friday 9 August 2019
Contact page owner: Health and Social Policy