The Program for Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) has recently been funded by the Australian Government for another three years.
PEPA forms part of the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative with Queensland University of Technology as the lead agency for the national program and the Centre for Palliative Care at St. Vincent’s holding the Service Agreement for PEPA Victoria.
PEPA aims to enhance the capacity of health professionals and care workers to deliver a palliative care approach to care through their participation in either clinical placements in specialist palliative care services or interactive workshops. PEPA provides opportunities to develop confidence, knowledge and skills in the palliative approach to care and for participants to build professional networks to support them in caring for palliative care patients.
PEPA provides a comprehensive workshop program including A Palliative Approach to Care, Pain and Symptom Management, Culturally responsive palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, Culturally responsive palliative care for people from non-English speaking backgrounds and Mentor training, to name a few. We tailor our programs to the identified individual learning needs of participants. Our placement program enables people from all caring environments to undertake an observational, immersive placement of 2-4 days with specialist palliative care providers, community, inpatient and acute consultancy. Placements are offered in metropolitan, regional and rural services.
The PEPA program in Victoria prides itself on innovation of service delivery and addressing emerging issues in a collaborative and creative way. A recent partnership with Ambulance Victoria saw over 5000 Victorian paramedics complete five hours of mandatory PEPA workshop content between May 1st and June 30th 2023, therefore building capacity in the understanding of and confidence in providing a palliative approach to care. The second phase of this partnership is underway to further develop the skills of senior paramedics to act as Palliative Care Champions in their regions, via our PEPA Mentoring and support program.
The Indigenous PEPA program (IPEPA) has a unique focus on providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and care workers to undertake palliative care education and placements in specialist palliative care in a culturally safe and responsive manner. We are currently working on expanding IPEPA to enable non indigenous health professionals to undertake placements in Aboriginal Health Services to build understanding and capacity in providing palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This being the twentieth year of PEPA (it was first funded in 2003), we are excited about the opportunities before us and keen to rise to the challenges of building a ‘palliative care aware’ and confident generalist workforce, to support all people living with a terminal diagnosis.
More information and applications for placement can be lodged via the website: