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Revisit Review into End of Life Care in South Australia

The HPC release the Review Revisit Audit of End of Life Care in South Australia and finds that achievement of the plan’s aim to expand and reshape end‐of‐life care services in South Australia has been uneven.

In a report released today the Health Performance Council finds that the key objectives of the SA Health Plan was achieved in part only and that a lack of progress due to contested resources, service variability between LHNs, and the absence of central coordination and governance.

Although there is confusion about the plan’s strategic intent, desired outcomes and explicit priorities, and despite shortfalls in implementing the plan, excellence in end‐of‐life care is found within LHNs & individual work units, and among highly‐regarded, compassionate staff.

The HPC believes that delivering future improvements will depend on consistent quality of care and efficiencies between all levels of government, the private sector and non‐government organisations.

Consumers cannot be sure they are more likely now than before the plan was introduced to receive the palliative care they want, where they want it and this is due in part to SA Health pressure on staff, financial and other resources in many parts of the system.

The lack of action has resulted in less community‐based care than was promised, high levels of hospitalisation and acute care treatments, pressure on carers, disruption, delays, and inconsistent quality of care.

Finalisation of the HPC’s revisit review coincides with SA Health’s new End of Life Care Strategy and the review recommendations will be useful in ensuring SA Health’s End of Life Care strategy leads to initiatives with measurable, evidence‐based health and wellbeing outcomes.

The final report, Revisit review of South Australia’s Palliative Care Services Plan 2009-16, is now available for download on the HPC website (hpcsa.com.au)