Palliative Care Queensland

Palliative Care Queensland Biennial State Conference – Ipswich 2010

The population of Queensland is growing and aging at an astonishing rate. As a result, the number of people requiring end of life care and palliative care grows by as much as 25% per year. By 2051 it is predicted that the number of deaths in Queensland will be around 60,000 per year.

Despite these facts, health care professionals who care for dying people report that they are already under-resourced. Many feel that they are struggling to cope within a system that does not recognise the significance of quality end of life and palliative care.

“Although Queensland Health is reviewing the way palliative care services are provided across the state, many within the sector fear that this review may be too late”, says Palliative Care Queensland CEO, John Paul Kristensen. “The reality is that the palliative care workforce in Queensland is shrinking and those who remain have overwhelming caseloads, and their budgets are not growing”. According to Mr Kristensen, burn out and Compassion Fatigue are now common place within the palliative care sector.

Looking In Looking Out, The Palliative Care Queensland Biennial State Conference in Ipswich on May 21st and 22nd provides an opportunity for health care providers, industry stakeholders and members of the general community to discuss the major issues effecting the palliative care sector at both state and federal level. ‘Looking In Looking Out’ will allow individual health care professionals to reflect upon the broader needs of the palliative care sector and perhaps more importantly, consider their own needs as a person caring for dying people.

“I believe that ‘Looking In Looking Out’ provides a great learning opportunity for anyone whose role includes the care of the dying”, says Dr Judith McEniery, Ipswich Palliative Care Physician and Chair of the Ipswich Conference Committee.

“Whether you are employed as a specialist or generalist health professional, or you work within the aged care setting, caring for dying people is a difficult, challenging and often thankless task. It is my hope that ‘Looking In Looking Out’ will help our tired and overworked clinicians to become recharged and re-energised.”

Day 1 of the conference includes two pre-conference workshops to be held at Ipswich Hospice Care on Friday May 21st.  These workshops will focus on team work and self care, supporting the individual needs of clinicians.

Day 2 of the conference will include presentations from 8 keynote speakers, including a presentation on ‘Surviving Burnout’ delivered by eminent Brisbane lecturer and psychiatrist Dr Jane Turner. Other presentations will focus on leadership, happiness and self care. There will also be updates on both the state and national palliative care agenda’s provided by speakers from Palliative Care Australia, and the Centre
for Palliative Care Research and Education.

Dr McEniery suggests that there will also be a light-hearted and energetic side to the conference.

“This year, the theme of our conference dinner will be ‘Tropical Nights’, with a fun tropical theme and live entertainment provided by Brisbane Folk Band ‘Sweet Faun’.

“The conference dinner will provide an opportunity to launch the ‘11th Australian Palliative Care Conference’ in Cairns in August 2011, a collaboration between the national peak body Palliative Care Australia, and the state peak body Palliative Care Queensland.

For more information about the ‘Looking In Looking Out’ Conference or to register, please visit the Palliative Care Queensland website or telephone the PCQ office on (07) 3633 0096. Tickets are still available for both the conference dinner on Friday May 21st and conference on May 22nd.

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