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June- July Newsletter


From the Chair

Welcome to the first PALLIATIVE CARE MATTERS from Palliative Care SA. PCM is our new online e-news that will replace the Palliative Profile and be delivered to your inbox monthly.

There are many issues that PCSA as the peak body for palliative care in South Australia is watching, advocating and influencing. There are many issues related to death, dying and palliative care at the local, state and federal levels. We want all South Australians facing a life-limiting illness to be able to understand the choices available to them and be able to access and receive high quality evidence-based care as they anticipate an approaching end to their life.

We are reviewing our communication strategy and activities. We are ensuring that our activities are visible and understood. We are engaging even more strongly in social media as well as more traditional methods of communication to ensure that all of our members and all South Australians will be more aware of palliative care and develop increased literacy and insight into the issues for people facing death and dying.

Advocacy remains a major focus for our organisation. We are delighted that the SA government committed to increased funding for palliative care service provision to be available around the clock. Our specialist services have always provided coordinating care and 24-hour, 7 day per week advice but we are looking to see an expanded option for care that is more available on weekends in particular. Care at home is by necessity a collaboration of services, many of which cannot be available every minute of the day. The availability of general practitioners, community nurses, equipment providers and specialist palliative care services must be flexible enough to provide a network of care that supports people and their loved ones at home without large gaps and deficiencies, with services that are responsive, timely and available when they are needed. Systems needs to be sustainable and adequately funded. We are watching to ensure that promises are realised and that a real difference is visible at the bedside for South Australians needing care and that this is available on every day of the year.

Thank you for your continuing support of PCSA. We value the continuing support of our membership. Please make contact with our office or 8271 1643 if we can assist you in any way. We welcome feedback.

With kind regards

Prof Greg Crawford

Chairman of Board

Palliative Care SA



Each month, PCSA will bring you closer to the people behind the organisation, to help give you a greater understanding of who we are and what drives us.


Elizabeth Ho OAM


Palliative Care has touched me through the deaths in my closest family. I am thankful that the experience has allowed me to see the stark difference between acute and palliative care.

I see palliative care as the acceptance of death while simultaneously working to help the person engage as deeply and comfortably in the living of their remaining life. With acute care there is a sense of struggle, of busy battling, of focusing on treatment result to the exclusion of everything else.

Where possible, what is needed most in the final weeks is reflection and sharing space, closeness with family, friends and carers, and quality support.

I have also learnt a lot by being a board member of Palliative Care SA. Most of us are either health professionals or other professionals who have experienced family loss. All of us work hard on strategies for advocacy to improve services for South Australia and nationally through the Palliative Care network.

To all Palliative Care Professionals on the front line- thanks for all you do for those in need.


LEAF PROJECT: The Laurel Palliative Care Foundation

The Laurel Palliative Care Foundation has developed a unique art program: Lifecycles- The LEAF Project (LIFE. Education. Art. Feelings) to address the work that they have identified from their work with families in the palliative care area.

This is a fiver week program is currently on offer to year 7-9 Middle School students within Adelaide’s Southern Region, with limited spaces available.

The core aim of the LEAF Project is to provide the platform to normalise discussion surrounding life cycles, with art being the vehicle to assist young people into discussion. The Laurel Palliative Care Foundation is able to provide the expertise to deliver this specialised program via our Course Coordinator, Ms Jane Sheets. Jane is a qualified Art Psychotherapist, artist and teacher who works in Southern Adelaide Palliative Services (SAPS) with people who are facing end of life and bereavement.

The LEAF Project will assist schools in developing and building on a culture that is accepting and supportive of all students on different life journeys including good and bad times, with grief and sadness expected and normal parts of life as are happiness and joy.  It is our thought that by opening conversation and normalising this concept, school environments will be better equipped to break the silence that appears to be surrounding this subject.

Wish to learn more?  See the program in action here or visit  For further information, please contact the Laurel Palliative Care Foundation on 8404 2485 or email Jane Smeets, SAPS Art Therapist

Enabling Choice: South Australia

Enabling Choice for South Australians (ECSA) is Adelaide Primary Health Network’s (PHN)  response to the Commonwealth Government’s Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care measure.

This project is working closely with six residential aged care providers and twenty six facilities to implement a range of quality improvement measures that support best practice in  Advance Care Planning, Palliative and End of Life Care for residents and their families, enabling the wishes and choices of the resident to underpin the provision of right care, in the right place at the right time and reducing unnecessary hospitalisations.

Two Palliative Care Improvement Coordinators – Julie Armitage and Lyn McVee – have been appointed by Adelaide PHN to  lead this project  in Residential Aged Facilities across the Adelaide metropolitan area. This project is underpinned by  continuous improvement methodology and is currently in the planning phase. Meetings have taken place with the senior teams and clinical nurse  leads at individual facilities, process mapping, audits, data and training analysis and policy/ protocol reviews have taken place  and a schedule is in place to complete this across all the facilities by the end of May. The coordinators with the aged care providers will develop a quality improvement plan that provides consistency and sustainable change across all sites. The implementation of this will begin in July 2019 and run until June 2020 when the project completes.

Meetings are also taking place with Specialist Palliative Care Teams, Royal District Nurse Service, South Australian Ambulance Service, Local Health Networks to ensure linkage and integration across the health system.

For more information, contact our
Palliative Care Improvement Coordinators
Julie Armitage
8219 5900
Lyn McVee
8219 5900


ELDAC: connecting you with quality palliative care resources

Health professionals who need to find palliative care services and information quickly are encouraged to visit the ELDAC website,

End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) is a project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to support quality care for older Australians as they come to the end of their life.

The website has been created in partnership with universities and peak bodies including Palliative Care Australia (PCA), the peak body for palliative care in Australia.

It is designed to connect health professionals with the latest tools and evidence in eight areas including providing palliative care and assessing palliative care needs.

Kate Reed, Nurse Practitioner Clinical Advisor from PCA said the partnership with ELDAC has helped the organisation to foster, promote and influence quality palliative care for the Australian community.

The partnership with ELDAC has certainly been a success so far, and we’re looking forward to a bright future, providing end of life directions for our aged care community.”

To find out more about ELDAC, visit the website at or call the ELDAC Helpline on 1800 870 155 for more information.

CareSearch Engagement Project 

CareSearch is leading a national Commonwealth funded Engagement Project “Building Knowledge and Awareness through Sector Engagement’. The project is focusing on engagement with the Aged Care, Allied Health and Patient, Carers and Families groups and aims to increase awareness and reach of the evidence-based CareSearch and palliAGED resources. We are keen to link with people across the community to promote our evidence-based information, tools and resources, so let us know if you would be able to help us promote the resources through your channels. CareSearch resources are available for the whole community and palliAGED has been specifically developed to support aged care. All resources are free and available on line 24/7. Resources specific to the needs of health and aged care professionals and patients’ carers and families have been developed in consultation with these groups. health and aged care professionals and community members. As part of the engagement initiative we are currently asking for your views on what patients, carers, and families need to know about palliative care e.g., what people wish they had known about palliative care before the time came when it was needed. We would be pleased if you could take a minute to respond in the feedback box on the CareSearch Patients, Carers, and Families web-page. To find out more about the engagement project The Engagement Project team welcomes your involvement and feedback at anytime, visit the Engagement Project web-page to see the latest updates and news. 

PalliAGED New Resources


palliAGED provides free online resources developed for aged care. It includes practical information for health and aged care practitioners to support them to provide care based on best practice. It has an evidence centre with the latest evidence on key topics as well as a complementary practice centre with information on what you can do, what you can learn and what organisations can do. palliAGED has now launched the new evidence based Practice Tip Sheets developed to support Careworkers and Nurses deliver quality care for older Australians. The Practice Tip Sheets are available to download for free and include easy-to-read discussion of care issues, pointers on what to do and tools to use as well as questions to prompt reflection and review. The Practice Tip Sheets will complement the wide range of practice topics available in the Practice Centre focusing on putting evidence into everyday practice. The Practice Tip Sheets are useful for independent learning and as a teaching aid. We are keen to get your comments and suggestions about the new tip sheets via the feedback box on the Practice Tip Sheet webpage. To keep up to date with the latest updates subscribe to our palliAGED news.

Caresearch Director Named as an Ambassador

Professor Jennifer Tieman Mathew Flinders fellow and CareSearch and palliAGED director has been named as an Advanced Care Planning Australia Ambassador alongside Rohan Greenland CEO of Palliative Care Australia. Professor Tieman said at a presentation ‘Time to Talk about Advance Care Planning ’event at Flinders University for Advanced Care Planning Week that ‘no matter what age or stage of life it was important for everyone to make the time to plan ahead and have the conversations that matter as there may come a time when you are seriously unwell and unable to make decisions for yourself’. Professor Tieman reminded us all of the importance of using evidence-based information to improve the quality of care and help us all make informed decisions. CareSearch and palliAGED provides free online evidence-based resources on key topics including advanced care planning, communication, symptoms and medicines and bereavement for everyone in the community to use.

Upcoming Events 

Music Therapy in Palliative Care: Free Public Forum

My gift is my song, and this one’s for you”: using music therapy to support patients and families in palliative care

Dr Lucy Forrest, RMT NMT PhD

Alfred Health, Victoria


5:30PM- 8:30PM

Hawke Centre

Register Here:

Have you ever wondered how music therapy could be used in your service to help support patients and families in palliative care?

Dr Lucy Forrest, a Registered Music Therapist in palliative care for more than 20 years, will be joining us on Thursday 1st August to speak about music therapy in palliative care.

Being in hospital, or being told you are going to die can be very frightening and stressful for people. Music can be familiar, comforting and relaxing”, says Lucy. “It can impact physiological responses, provide emotional and spiritual support, change how we are feeling, and bring people together.”

Lucy will provide a general overview and introduction to music therapy, sharing a neuro-bio-psycho-social approach to using music in healthcare; and discussing how music therapy can be used to support people living with life-threatening illness, whether they are newly diagnosed, or facing end-of-life-care.

Working in the home, in an acute hospital setting, and in inpatient palliative care settings, Lucy develops music therapy programs specific to each person/family’s needs. She works with children and adults across the lifespan, and with people from diverse backgrounds, incorporating each person’s cultural beliefs and traditions into her work.

Through stories and music from her clinical work, Lucy will share examples of how music therapy can provide symptom and procedural support; offer an alternate means of communication, expression and connection; address rehabilitation goals in palliative care; and enhance feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. Lucy will also discuss music therapy approaches she uses in her work, including active and receptive music therapy methods that include creating, recreating and sharing music; and potential contra-indications to the use of music therapy in palliative care.

Who is this program for? Palliative care and hospice staff, doctors, nurses, allied health staff including psychologists, social workers, counsellors, pastoral carers, music and art therapists, health and aged care staff, volunteers, individuals and their families.