Palliative Care Queensland

Palliative Care Queensland Makes Submission to Queensland Parliament Inquiry

Palliative Care Queensland has made a submission to the Queensland Government Health and Environment Committee in relation to the Inquiry into the provision of primary, Allied and private Health Care, Aged Care and NDIS care services and its impact on the Queensland public health system.

The peak body’s, key points, were focussed on making representation for its members and community of care regarding:

  • Aged care
  • NDIS
  • Private Health Care
  • Primary Care

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Palliative Care Queensland CEO, Shyla Mills, welcomed the opportunity to provide critical feedback and information to the committee, “We welcome the opportunity to provide the sector’s feedback and insights to the committee and look forward to the next stages in the inquiry. As a sector, we believe that positive outcomes from inquiry can ensure that Queenslanders have access to a supportive social network at the end stage of life and have the choice of quality palliative care.”

Palliative Care Queensland’s key  areas for focus included:

Palliative Care Queensland’s recommendations regarding Aged Care:

  • General practitioners are central to the palliative care continuum wherever their patients are, to ensure that care is coordinated (e.g., primary care, acute care, aged care and all other services in community). Remuneration should be appropriate to the services provided.
  • Build capacity and capability for aged care workforce training and resources (including improved technology) that are specific to palliative care needs of people living in aged care settings (from diagnosis to bereavement).
  • Embed a culture of quality palliative care in aged care. Develop strategies to respond to the high workforce turnover in aged care to ensure provision of consistent and high- quality palliative care.
  • Support people to stay socially connected throughout the palliative care journey, recognising the important role of family, carers, and community in aged care.
  • Enhance psychosocial, spiritual and bereavement care to those receiving aged care support, their families, and the workforce.

Palliative Care Queensland’s recommendations regarding NDIS:

  • Fund a consultation regarding the role of disability care and palliative care in Queensland, to understand the current situation and identify key recommendations for improvements.
  • Support a pilot implementation of the Talking End of Life …with people with intellectual disability (TEL) toolkit across Queensland.

Palliative Care Queensland’s recommendations regarding Private Health Care:

  • Fund a consultation regarding the role of private health care and palliative care in Queensland, to understand the current situation and identify key recommendations for improvements.
  • Strengthen the coordination of care between private and public care settings in relation to palliative care.

Palliative Care Queensland’s recommendations regarding Primary Care:

  • Strengthen the coordination of care between care settings (i.e., hospitals, GPs and community palliative care providers and networks). Empower GPs to coordinate their patients’ care in community (including aged care) and to ensure the flow of information about patients across multiple settings. Support GPs to begin the conversations about care and care coordination early in the palliative care journey.
  • Increase primary care funding, including appropriate remuneration and resourcing to enable primary care providers to respond to patients’ and carers’ needs (particularly in their home).
  • Map generalist and primary palliative care services to assist with system navigation, coordination and integration of patient care throughout the palliative care journey (i.e., from diagnosis to bereavement)
  • Fund generalist and primary care services and supports to be mobile and rapidly responsive to patient care needs (such as ‘Last Days’ Packages).
  • Equip and train frontline health staff to understand the diverse range of palliative care needs, and to ask their patients what matters most (i.e., advance care planning and care planning).
  •  Work with communities (they have the answers) through consultation and raise awareness of palliative care.
  •  Map assets and social capital to further the reach of palliative care through asset hunting, and partnership and engagement building between services, civic community and social networks (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culturally and linguistically diverse communities).

Palliative Care Queensland’s recommendations regarding Allied Health Care:

  • Fund a consultation regarding the role of allied health care in palliative care across Queensland, to understand the current situation and identify key recommendations for improvements.
  •  Increase access to allied health practitioners in regional and rural areas.
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