National Palliative Care Week 2023: People at the heart of palliative care

Written by Professor Jennifer Tieman (@JenniferTieman), Director, Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death, and Dying.

Once each year, we use a national week to profile palliative care, and this is important because palliative care focuses on matters of life and death. Importantly the focus is on life – living well and living fully while recognising that life has an end. There is so much to say in this area. All of us will be impacted by death and will be supported by families, communities and systems that provide care. This requires an awareness of palliative care, information and resources for those needing care and care providers, and services and systems that work together to facilitate care.

During National Palliative Care Week, Palliative Care Australia aims to put ‘Matters of Life and Death’ front and centre in Australia’s consciousness. They are showcasing the ‘people at the heart of quality palliative care’ with stories from our workforce and volunteers. They are also sharing the stories of real people across the country about their personal experiences of palliative care in a documentary film, “Live the Life You Choose”.

There is a proud history of championing palliative care at Flinders University. However, many people are not aware of the range and depth of the research and education that is centred at Flinders University and RePaDD. The focus on palliative care provides Flinders University staff who are members of the Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying (RePaDD) with the perfect opportunity to discuss and share our work in palliative care research and education. This work contributes to the evidence base that underpins care and the development of resources that are used by individuals and services to support good care.

By providing postgraduate courses,  short courses, and specific workforce training the academic team addresses the critical issues health professionals and those working in aged care face in recognising and responding to palliative care needs. Research helps us understand the experience and needs of patients and families and the care context of services and systems. Technology and innovation enables us to extend the reach and utility of our research. Evaluation and impact analysis shows the value and effectiveness of our activities and resources. Strong clinical partnerships with our local health networks and Southern Adelaide Palliative Services ensure that clinical research and education options reflect the practical concerns of health professionals.

Partnerships are central to our approach. We are involved with critical national projects including CareSearch, palliAGED, ELDAC, End of Life Essentials, ARIIA, CarerHelp, The Advance Project, caring@home and QuoCCA. They provide vehicles that contribute to building skilled and capable workforces in primary care, community care and aged care and to the knowledge and skills of patients, families, and carers. We know that people are at the heart of palliative care. And at Flinders, RePaDD and its members are at the heart of evidence-based palliative care research and education. Join us in National Palliative Care Week as we discuss matters of life and death.

National Palliative Care Week runs from 21 -27 May 2023. Its theme is Matters of Life and Death.


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Death and dying across the community Palliative Care Palliative care across the health system

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