Palliative care

Primary Health Tasmania works to support quality palliative and end-of-life care for Tasmanians, through our work with the Greater Choice For at Home Palliative Care Measure.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is holistic care with the goal of improving the quality of life and quality of care for people with an active and progressive life-threatening or limiting illness and their families.

According to Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the term refers to an approach to treatment that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing life-limiting illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering.

Palliative care includes physical, spiritual and psychosocial support, care and treatment delivered by health professionals and ancillary staff.

Due to Australia’s ageing population and increases in the number of people living with chronic and life-limiting conditions, more and more people are requiring palliative care.

What is end-of-life care?

End-of-life care refers to the care provided in the final weeks and days of life and also includes planning for end of life care and the support of families and carers, and care of the patient’s body after their death.

Greater choice for at-home care

Primary Health Tasmania’s work in palliative and end-of-life care is captured by the Greater Choice For at Home Palliative Care Measure.

This is a national initiative brought to Tasmania after Primary Health Tasmania successfully applied for Australian Government funding to run it locally from July 2018 to June 2020.

It aims to support at-home palliative care by improving coordination and integration of end-of-life care across primary, secondary, tertiary and community health services.

Working groups drawing from the local community have since been established in Glamorgan Spring Bay, and Circular Head/Waratah-Wynyard.

So far, the communities involved have organised and run educational activities, book and film clubs looking at narratives around life-limiting illnesses, art projects, as well as more formal education and awareness activities.

“(Palliative care) cases come in all different shapes and sizes, and with all different sorts of timelines.”

– Dr David Dalton

Palliative care Tasmanian HealthPathways

Tasmanian HealthPathways – Primary Health Tasmania’s online information portal for primary health clinicians – includes helpful pathways about palliative care, advance care planning, and management of certain health conditions in their palliative stages.

Click here to log in to the Tasmanian HealthPathways.