As 2022 draws to a close, the Centre for Palliative Care staff would like to extend best wishes for a happy and safe festive period to all in the sector.
The end of the year is often a time for reflection and celebration, and we would like to highlight some of the Centre’s achievements in palliative care research and education during 2022:
The CarerHelp Diversity project continues and recently launched a range of new CarerHelp resources tailored to support specific groups of family carers. New resources include factsheets and videos in nine other languages, indigenous specific resources, and an LGBTIQ+ page. There is also a range of resources for support workers who may find themselves caring for someone at the end of life as part of their role. CarerHelp (www.carerhelp.com.au) has reached over 40,000 Australians since its launch in 2019.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic our clinical trials research team have continued to offer our patients the opportunity to be involved in several clinical trials in palliative care. These trials further our knowledge about best practice symptom management for patients receiving palliative care, and include studies exploring appetite, neuropathic pain and medicinal cannabis. An added benefit for our recruited patients is the attentive support of our clinical trials nurse Indy!
Providing Palliative Care education and upskilling the workforce is a very important part of what we do at the Centre for Palliative Care. This year saw the introduction of our new Clinical Skills Update (CSU) education sessions. Highly popular, these affordable sessions run online at multiple times per week to increase clinician accessibility to education. CSU’s are only 90 minutes long and cover a multitude of topics such as Referral to Palliative Care, Cultural Awareness in Palliative Care and Oncological Emergencies.
Our Masterclasses continue to sell out! When we moved our Masterclasses online as a response to the pandemic, we were surprised and delighted by the interest from all over Australia, NZ, Canada as well as many other countries. This interest has continued, in fact we have now delivered Masterclasses to individual health services. We are also very excited that we were able to deliver our face to face Physical Assessment of the Palliative Patient twice this year. Stay tuned for announcements about holding this Masterclass regionally across Victoria in 2023!
In addition to all of this, we ran our ever popular and free webinars. In 2022 we saw intense interest in the webinars which covered some challenging topics - Defining and developing the concept of death literacy, Advance Care Planning – is it worth it? and Enhancing support for family carers of people with serious illness. Our Annual Lecture held in late November looked at volunteering - Past, present, and possibilities: Using evidence to inform the future of volunteering across palliative care. The Annual Lecture’s keynote speaker was renowned International Professor Catherine Walshe who provided a contemporary global view on evidence and trends associated with volunteerism in palliative care. Professor Walshe was joined by Heike Fleischmann from Palliative Care Victoria to provide a local perspective.
These achievements are just a sample of the programs and projects our team were developing during the year. We would like to thank all of our collaborators, supporters, funders and those that have attended our education sessions - your contributions have been invaluable. Finally, thanks to our Centre staff and students, who remained focussed on our goal to improve the quality of palliative care through research and education.
The Centre for Palliative Care wishes you all the best for a happy and safe festive period. See you in 2023!