Better palliative care for all Tasmanians

Sarah Courtney,Minister for Health

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to ensuring that people have the best possible quality care at end of life and that their families and carers receive the support they need.

I am pleased to announce that today the State Government has taken important new steps in implementing the palliative care policy framework, Compassionate Communities – through the release of the second Palliative Care Progress Report.

The Compassionate Communities framework is a five-year strategy that provides whole-of-community approach to palliative care and aims to embed national standards and best practice approaches to palliative care.

To ensure Tasmania’s community has access to equitable, high quality palliative care we must work in partnership with all involved to provide a person-centred care service. This includes patients, health professionals, community organisations, volunteers, carers and family.

The Department of Health works closely with the Partners in Palliative Care Reference Group in implementing the state-wide palliative care policy framework and supporting improvements in the key priority areas.

Key achievements and elements of the Framework delivered over the 2018-20 reporting period include;

  • Finalising the Tasmanian Policy Statement, End of Life Care: Supporting Tasmanians to live well at end of life;
  • Implementing the Strengthening Communities of Care: A strategy to build the capacity and capabilities of all Tasmanians in palliative care 2018-21;
  • Implementing a statewide model of care for specialist palliative care services;
  • Finalising an after-hours palliative care phone support line trial in the North and North West – which has been implemented statewide.

This is in addition to the establishment of a Bereavement Care Network across the State, as noted in the previous progress report.

In this year’s Budget, we have provided $800,000 towards the continuation of three Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Educators across the State, and have also committed $1 million over two years towards Tasmania’s palliative care peak body, Palliative Care Tasmania – to allow them to continue their outstanding work and advocacy in End of Life Care education and support, as well as improved community access to palliative care services.

We want to deliver more care in the right place, at the right time, and will work with local clinicians, key stakeholders and consumers to meet the health needs of our community.

The report may be found here: https://www.health.tas.gov.au/palliativecare/tasmanian_palliative_care_policy_framework_2018_-_2021

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