Quality of End of Life Care Newsletter Edition 7 March 2021

It’s hard to believe we are already in autumn 2021!

Residential Aged Care continues to be front and centre in the public eye, which is excellent for future residents, families and staff. 

A lot has happened in the last few months. The most noteworthy being the final report from the Royal Commission in Aged Care Quality & Safety. The report was tabled on 1 March 2021, recommending a new foundation for the Aged Care system with a new Act, Purpose and Principals.

Areas for immediate attention included palliative care.

The summary reported highlighted: 

  • High-quality palliative care is essential to ensuring that an older person can live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible as they approach death 
  • Access to specialist palliative care services and regular staff training requires improvement
  • Urgent consideration should also be given to how palliative care is reflected in the Aged Care Quality Standards

Also covered in this edition of the newsletter, we encourage you to apply for the Progam of Experience in Palliative Approach (PEPA), to ensure staff have the skills, knowledge and experience in the palliative approach.

Don’t forget to join our virtual education event, Open and Honest Conversation in Residential Care + Panel Discussion on Tuesday 23rd March 2021, 11:00-12:30 pm. 


Register here

Finally, we farewell Kelly Arthurs, who has been instrumental in the Quality EOLC in RAC Project implementation and clinical guidance. We wish her well in her new endeavours.

As always, thank you for the thoughtful and wonderful care you provide residents, especially under such challenging circumstances. We look forward to continuing what we have accomplished together since the QEOLC program began in 2017.

Best wishes,
Sarah and Jon

The Quality EOLC in RAC Project

Being a part of the Quality EOLC in RAC Project has and will assist you, your staff and organisation to be in a better position to embed a palliative approach to End Of Life care.

Good quality palliative care requires you to know what is important to the resident when it comes to their End Of Life care choices, considering a biopsychosocial approach (a combination of physiological/medical, social and psychological aspects). 

Read more

Program of Experience in Palliative Approach (PEPA)

A national palliative care project, PEPA aims to enhance health professionals' capacity to deliver a palliative care approach through their participation in either clinical placements in specialist palliative care services or interactive workshops. 

PEPA provides an opportunity for all registered nurses, care workers, RAO’s etc and any aged care staff member of a healthcare team to develop palliative care approach skills by undertaking a supervised observational placement within a specialist palliative care service. 

Two to five-day placements are available at HammondCare Neringah and HammondCare Greenwich Hospital to expand your knowledge and skills in the palliative approach to care. 

Apply for a HammondCare placement by applying here and selecting ‘NSW’. Don’t forget organisations are compensated for cost of replacing staff while they at their placement.

You can also register your interest here and the NSW PEPA Manager will email you to provide more information about PEPA, including upcoming local events and placement opportunities.

PEPA has a Community of Practice where people share their experience of participating in the program. Read here from Doris, Assistant in Nursing Residential Aged Care facility Canberra, and AJ, an Aboriginal personal care worker.

Not sure if this is for you or have any questions? We are lucky to have our own PEPA MENTOR, Clinical Nurse Educator Lead, Jon SanMartin, who would be happy to answer any questions, please email Jon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find out more about PEPA

National Advance Care Planning Week NACPW

National Advance Care Planning Week is being held 22-26 March 2021 across all states and territories. As 50% of people will be too unwell to make their own End Of Life decisions, Advance Care Planning Australia is highlighting the fact that “there’s a lot more to advance care planning than just putting a plan in place. Conversations are a key part of the process.”

Advance Care Planning is not just about filling in a form and ticking a box. This awareness week aims to bring to the forefront the conversations that need to be had, to improve the number of people who have advance care directives in place before they cannot make those decisions for themselves.

Conversations are a key part of the process. Discussing values and preferences helps determine what values would be important for someone’s future health care.

With this in mind, there are many different ways that you can learn more about advance care planning, including conversation starters, TED Talks, books and real stories.

Learn more and access forms and factsheets for you, your staff, families and residents.

Get involved

Upcoming EOLC Tele-education events

Date: Tuesday 23rd March, 11.00am - 12.30pm

Rachael Zielinski, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community Palliative Care, will discuss practical tips on having open and honest conversations regarding the care of residents with palliative and end-of-life care needs.

There will also be a panel discussion on Advance Care Planning and Advance Care Directive (ACP/ACD) following the presentation. 

Register now

Keep an eye on your inbox for your invite.

HammondCare will be also be hosting the following presentations:

April 2021 – Symptom control at the End Of Life

May 2021 – Pain Management

June 2021 – Delirium and Frailty

Palliative Care in the Media

New to Foxtel On Demand, The End is a 10-part series featuring Kate, a palliative care doctor who struggles with the topics of assisted dying and suicide. The program helps to bring to the forefront challenges we face as we get older and taking care of ageing loved ones.  

Read the SMH's 4-star review

Quality End Of Life Care in RAC Project Resources

We have now reprinted the QEOLC Flip Chart.  Please let us know if you need additional copies of either the FlipChart or Resource Book at your facility.

EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    

Your organisation can also purchase these for other facilities outside the Northern Sydney Local Health District.

Buy now

Palliative and End Of Life Care Online Resources for RACF 

You can find useful information to help you across the following websites:

QEOLC Autumn Banner Web