Health Minister launches internationally acclaimed palliative care resource

NSW Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, today launched the latest edition of The Palliative Care Handbook, thanking author Prof Rod MacLeod and HammondCare for their "remarkable" contribution to the provision of palliative care in NSW.

The Palliative Care Handbook has become an integral part of training and resourcing within the HammondCare Palliative Care Home Support Program (PCHSP) in NSW and Minister Skinner said she was pleased to learn that more than 500 people had already been supported by the program.

"I have spoken personally with some of the families that have benefited from the program and it is wonderful to hear they have been supported. I know The Palliative Care Handbook plays an important role for helping patients and families as they seek answers to questions, and for clinicians as well."

In introducing the Minister, HammondCare Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Judd, acknowledged that it was the Minister's personal commitment to delivering community palliative care that had vastly improved access for people across NSW.

"We know that about 75 per cent of people who join the program fulfil their wish to spend their last days at home compared to about 20 per cent in the general population."

New edition includes dementia, nutrition

The Palliative Care Handbook – which has sold strongly across the globe – for the first time in its eighth "southern hemisphere" edition includes guidelines for palliative care and dementia, as well as addressing the role of nutrition and deprescribing in end-of-life care.

Although small in size – for ease of use by clinicians – the book’s impact is large and the latest edition will once again be made available free of charge through PCHSP to participating doctors, nurses, health professional, care workers, people facing end-of-life and their carers. Otherwise, it is available for sale from HammondCare Media.

Further training resources are available from The Palliative Care Bridge.

Holistic approach to symptom control

The Palliative Care Handbook offers a thorough understanding of symptoms and treatments which emphasise the importance of a holistic approach to managing patients’ physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

The first section of the book provides an explanation of palliative care as well as guidelines for alleviation of the symptoms and challenges commonly encountered. The second section is a comprehensive listing of drug information including unlicensed uses and interactions.

Since its first publication in 1994, The Palliative Care Handbook has been consistently revised, developed and updated to be an essential and practical international resource enabling quality palliative care.

pchb launch 01 500

About the authors

Rod MacLeod is a Professor in Palliative Care, University of Sydney and Senior Staff Specialist with HammondCare, Greenwich Hospital, Sydney.

Sandy Macleod is an Associate Professor, University of Canterbury NZ and Palliative Medicine Specialist, Christchurch Hospital.

Jane Vella-Brincat is a Clinical Pharmacist at Christchurch Hospital.