Quality of End of Life Care Newsletter Edition Three - March 2020

Now is your time to shine!

We want to remind you of the amazing job you are doing in caring for our vulnerable citizens especially whilst we navigate through the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community of Practice – Quality End of Life Care in RACH continues to grow and now has 300+ aged care workers in Northern Sydney local health district registered. This enables us to communicate important information to you!

A warm welcome to our new facility Twilight Glengarry, we look forward to working with Juvy, Gladys, Emily and Fiona and the team.

Being Prepared for COVID-19

At this challenging time we feel the best way we can support you is by providing information on the following:

  • Appropriate Palliative Care stock list – Page 11 of pdf Quality EOLC Resource Book (2.21 MB) .
  • Palliative Care Medication Guides – Page 13 of pdf Quality EOLC Resource Book (2.21 MB) .
  • Nikki Pump education – See tele-education information below.
  • Advance Care Planning – See further information below.
  • Referral to Specialist Palliative Care Service - The normal referral pathway is required for all patients. To access the referral form and eligibility information, please click here or for Referral: The referral form is located on page 4 of the pdf Quality EOLC Resource Book (2.21 MB) (copy, complete and fax).
  • Telehealth Access from HammondCare Community Palliative Care Team

    Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia and its impact on Residential Aged Care Facilities (as well as the wider community) we have set up telehealth to continue to provide our in-reach service.

    This would mean that the assessment of patients will be done via a tablet or phone using HammondCare's video conferencing platform Microsoft TEAMS, and also familiar to some of you via the Quality EOLC Project.

    As we are not able to physically access your facility to assess patients, please investigate the possibility of using such technology so that we can continue to provide this service, this may mean you have additional tablets on hand for patient assessment.

There are also a number of useful documents available to support services and organisations, the aged care workforce and the general community. This can be found on the ELDAC website.

Advance Care Planning week 23 -27 March 2020

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 access to residential care facilities has been restricted, therefore all plans for morning teas and activities has been cancelled.  However, this is still more than ever an appropriate time to ensure your residents have an Advance Care Plan in place.  Every facility we are working with has identified the  topic "Having regular conversations about decision making and advance care planning with residents/families at set times as well as when required" as a key area for improvement:.  The current situation could be seen as an ideal opportunity to raise awareness and start people talking.

To access further information about Advance Care Planning Australia, please read the useful fact sheets for both Health and Care Workers and Family & Friends. And conversation starters COVID-19 related for GP’s COVID-19 resources for general practitioners.

We are sad to confirm that the Advance Care Planning Seminar, NSW, has now been cancelled.

Health Pathways – Sydney North Primary Health Network

A reminder of the very informative localised resource which includes End of Life Care and Palliative Care Pathways

To access the Sydney North Health Pathways website, click here.

Username: healthpathwaysRACF

Password: gateway

pdf Link to Health Pathways Fact Sheet and User Guide (3.96 MB)

pdf Link to NSW Health Caring of the Imminently Dying Adult Inpatient – Pharmacological Guideline NSLHD (158 KB)

Quality EOLC Project Tele-education

Thank you to those of you who joined this week’s session on Nikki Syringe Drivers. The Nikki T34 Syringe Driver allows Registered Nurses to safely provide a complete 24 hour dose infusion therapy to manage end of life symptoms for residents. To watch the workshop recording, click here.

Today's workshop

Topic: Managing Palliative Care Family Meetings in residential aged care

The tele-education training was delivered via Microsoft Teams for you to watch at your workplace. If you missed this session, then a copy of the presentation and video will be made available to all facilities on request.

End of Life Medications – Did you Know?

Are you aware that from 19 July 2019 the following End of Life medications may be stocked at a RACF for urgent treatment when the retail pharmacy which provides residents’ dispensed medicines is closed:

Midazolam injection, no more than 10 (ten) ampoules of 5 mg/5 mL or 5 mg/1 mL
Morphine sulfate pentahydrate injection, no more than 30 (thirty) 5 mg/1 mL, 10 mg/1 mL, 15 mg/1 mL or 30 mg/1 mL ampoules
Clonazepam oral liquid 2.5 mg/mL, no more than 20 mL

For more information go to: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/Pages/residential-care-facilities.aspx#bookmark1

Specialist Palliative Care Education and Training for Residential Care

We are sorry to have had to cancel our face to face training until further notice but will continue to provide more regular tele-education sessions.

Pain Management and Dementia

The resource provides an evidence informed, 5-step approach to Identify, Assess, Manage, Reassess and Monitor pain for residents living in aged care. Each step is clearly outlined in the resource. The resource also presents four case studies where the 5-step approach is used to create a personalised pain management plan.

Learn More

What else are we working on in 2020?

  • Aged Care Quality Standards evidence and support documents
  • Tele-education
  • ACP Pathway for RACH
  • ACP Supported Life Decision document


We look forward to continuing to work with you to improve Quality End of Life Care in Northern Sydney residential Aged Care Homes.

Sarah Fox, Project Development Manager, Community Palliative Care

Kelly Arthurs, CNC Clinical Lead Palliative Care