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Dying is part of living and you are still living when you are dying

BJ Miller

Health Professionals

SPECIALIST SUPPORT FOR YOU

Palliative Care South East is an accredited, community based, not for profit organisation that provides specialist care and support for those living with a terminal illness or complex chronic disease and their families and carers, in their homes.

Our dedicated team is made up of multi-disciplinary palliative care professionals:
  • Specialist Palliative Care Physician
  • Palliative Care Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse Consultant – Palliative Aged Care
  • Palliative Care Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Counsellors
  • Spiritual Care Worker
  • Music Therapist
  • Trained Volunteers

Our specialist knowledge and expertise enables us to effectively manage complex symptoms, loss, grief and bereavement. We will work with you to provide the best possible care for our mutual clients.

You can download a copy of our brochure here.

 

 


CLIENT CARE NEEDS

It may be beneficial to refer your patient to our service if they display any of the below:
  • Modified Karnofsky score of below 50
  • Phase of care – i.e. stable, unstable, deteriorating or terminal
  • Frequent presentations to acute care
  • Complex symptoms
  • Complex care needs
  • Home-based end of life care request
  • Assistance with decision making regarding end of life choices
  • Frequent inpatient palliative care admissions
  • Unmet psychosocial needs
  • Anticipated complex loss and grief issues

THE REFERRAL PROCESS

Referrals to Palliative Care South East can be made by clinicians, including GPs.

The person needs to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the Palliative Care South East program:
  • Live within the service catchment area (our catchment area includes Cardinia Shire, City of Casey, City of Greater Dandenong and parts of Kingston)
  • Have a diagnosed terminal illness
  • Have given consent to the referral (this may include their next of kin or person responsible)
  • Have care needs that are assessed as requiring the support of a specialist community palliative care (this may include the person’s family or carer/s also)
Referrals can be made via the following methods:
In order to ensure that your client’s referral is not delayed, please ensure that copies of the following information are provided at the time of referral where applicable and available:
  • Show evidence of Client consent
  • Medical information
  • Hospital Discharge summary
  • Current Medication List
  • Scans and Blood results (include EGFR)
  • Relevant specialist letters and Doctors notes

We have a specialist Intake Team who will review and process the referral within 24 hours of receipt. You can contact our Intake Team at any time during office hours to check the progress of a referral.

You can download a copy of our brochure here.

 

CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE (CALD) CLIENTS

Palliative Care South East has a culturally diverse catchment area. Where necessary, we utilise a team of interpreters to assist clients and our team to communicate effectively, ensuring that all clients have equal access to our service. Our team is aware of and respect the background and beliefs of our clients and their families and we will do all that we can to help them to remain in their communities for as long as they wish.


WORKING TOGETHER

Achieving the goals of clients and families and addressing their needs adequately is best met through a partnership approach. The Palliative Care South East team is available to provide palliative care advice, support and consultancy in relation to care of clients who may be part of your service. Alternatively Palliative Care South East may refer clients for support and service to your organisation.

Palliative Care South East works in partnership with a range of service providers


CONSULTANCY SERVICES

Palliative Care South East can provide Nurse Consultation in Palliative Aged Care to all of the Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) within our catchment.The Nurse Consultant works with the RACF staff to address any palliative client care issues and recommend and develop in conjunction with the staff, client and family, care plans to address the identified needs.


SYMPTOMS AND MEDICINES

Palliative Care South East has a palliative care physician and several nurse practitioners who can provide consultancy, support and advice to GPs.

The classes of medication most commonly used in palliative care for symptom relief are:
  • analgesics
  • antiemetics
  • laxatives
  • analgesic adjuvants
  • steroids
  • antidepressants
  • neuroleptic agents
  • anxiolytics
  • sedatives

Standard medications may be used differently in the palliative care setting, based on well-established practices with varying degrees of evidence. Examples include the use of antipsychotic medications to treat nausea, anticonvulsants to treat pain, and opioids to treat dyspnoea. Where these indications are unlisted in the product information this is termed ‘off-license’ prescribing. Sometimes it may be difficult to access these medications for patients in the community. There are also cost implications as they are unable to be subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Many palliative care patients develop symptoms such as pain, vomiting or terminal restlessness that cause discomfort and distress. The timing of these symptoms can be difficult to predict. Best practice suggests that proactive prescribing and supply of medications for patients in the community enables symptoms to be managed rapidly. This avoids crises at home and reduces both patient suffering and unwanted, unnecessary admissions in the last days of life. We request from the GP, scripts for emergency medications so that the visiting palliative care nurses or the doctor has a supply of common oral and injectable medication kept in the home to administer for emergency use.