On behalf of the Centre for Palliative Care (CPC) I would like to thank you for your interest and participation in our programs and initiatives over the course of 2021.
CPC’s aim is to transform the lives of patients and families facing serious illness through enhancing the evidence base of palliative care. The following select overview of key outcomes exemplifies how we have strived to achieve this aim.
Our Education team have coordinated and presented Hot Topic Webinars to Australian and international audiences this year, with diverse and interesting topics ranging across Respiratory Supportive Care; Bereavement Risk Assessment; Non-Invasive Assisted Ventilation in MND; Providing Palliative Care in Prisons; Life, Death and the Older Person; and our Annual Lecture on Palliative Care in Paramedicine. The webinars were recorded as a future resource – the recordings are freely available for viewing here.
This year many health professionals have attended our customised education, masterclasses, clinical skills seminars and postgraduate education. It is heartening to see the importance of palliative care education being recognised across the health sector. We are looking forward to announcing some exciting developments in our education offerings in future.
2021 has not been without its challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of our staff played a key role in developing a hospital-wide COVID response bereavement support program for St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne - an important project at a difficult time during the pandemic in Melbourne.
There also have been a number of successes from the researchers in our team:
- Co-investigator on a National Institutes for Health (USA) multisite clinical trial to improve the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease or dementia
- Leading National Health and Medical Research Council grant: digital health intervention to improve QOL of patients and caregivers with advanced cancer
- Evolution of the Palliative Care Research Network (pcrnv.com.au) incorporating a new program focuses on consumer engagement to improve palliative care
- Commenced the CarerHelp Diversity project, to expand the reach and impact of CarerHelp, a national eHealth resource for family carers (carerhelp.com.au )
- Co-investigators on a National Health and Medical Research Council grant evaluating the implementation of the voluntary assisted dying legislation
- QualDeath: WCMICS funded project to develop model for appraising the quality of death and dying in five hospitals
- Collaborators on a European Union funded clinical trial involving 6 countries aimed at improving palliative care for patients and their family caregiver
- Windermere Foundation Post-Doctoral Grant: improving wellbeing people with advanced lung disease
- Multiple journal publications including a proposal to reframe how we conceptualise and reframe palliative care in order to improve access and improve the quality of life of people living with serious illness.
- New and confirmed Doctor of Philosophy students (topics including end of life care in ICU; Suffering at the end of life for CALD patients; improving the quality of life for patients with advanced lung disease).
None of these achievements would have been possible without the amazing dedication of our multidisciplinary and multi-talented CPC staff. Furthermore, all initiatives have required collaboration with a variety of partners, funders and key stakeholders at local, national and international levels; we value these relationships tremendously. Thank you to all of our staff and collaborators for your dedication and commitment to bringing all of these programs and projects to fruition.
I hope you get some time to relax and recharge over the festive season and we look forward to working with you in 2022.
Regards and thanks,
Director Centre for Palliative Care, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Collaborative Centre of The University of Melbourne