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Prioritising Excellence in Palliative Care

Professional Development Skills Matrix and Resource Toolkit (PD SMaRT)

The Professional Development and Skills Matrix and Resource Toolkit for palliative care nurses identifies, measures and addresses the individual learning needs and appropriate professional development strategies for palliative care nurses working in community palliative care settings.

The skills matrix uses a survey method whereby individuals complete a 64-item questionnaire in Survey Monkey (an electronic data collection platform) rating their knowledge and skills against each question with the following criteria:

  • No knowledge
  • Basic knowledge
  • Can do with supervision
  • Can perform independently
  • Can teach others

Analysis of the results provides feedback on relevant professional development opportunities for the individual, department/organisation and the region, based on identified gaps, areas for consolidation and practice strengths.  The skills matrix also assists clinical staff, unit managers and health services respond to national quality standards for accreditation.

PD SMaRT has been rolled out in all Community Palliative Care Services in Gippsland and will be rolled in the acute setting in early 2020.

Click here to download the PD SMaRT project toolkit which includes step by step instructions to replicate the project including survey questions, data analysis, report and email templates, and professional development opportunities.

Model of Care

GRPCC Model of Care is designed to help community palliative care services meet the challenge of increasing demand and to support capacity building through a model that may be adopted by services region-wide and is based on the national standards.

Click here to view the Model of Community Palliative Care report or click here to view the Model of Community Palliative Care framework.

Tools to Assist After-Hours Telephone Triage of Community Palliative Care Clients

In 2011-12, the Victorian Department of Health provided funding to improve after-hours support for palliative care clients.

A Gippsland Model for After-Hours Palliative Care, After-Hours Action Plan 2014-15 has been approved by the Consortium Management Group and a copy can be accessed by clicking here. In summary, the Action Plan outlines work by the Consortium in relation to key elements in the Framework to address identified needs in Gippsland. Actions to address key elements 1 and 3 are summarised below. Please see the Action Plan for a full overview.

Key Element 1 – Best Practice Care Planning

Best practice care planning will enable after-hours care needs to be planned for as much as possible during business hours. Documents which will form part of the Model include:

Key Element 3 – After-Hours telephone triage

The recommendation is to utilize existing hospital after-hours coordinators and/or on call district nurses to provide telephone triage to local community palliative care clients. Each service needs to identify their preferred model for after-hours triage coverage and provide relevant training and resources.

The purpose of ‘Tools to Assist After-Hours Telephone Triage of Community Palliative Care Clients’ guideline is to guide nurses in their management of calls from registered community palliative care clients and carers after-hours, and in doing so, to enhance the quality and consistency of after-hours care.

Click here to view the Tools to Assist After-Hours Telephone Triage of Community Palliative Care Clients guideline.

Quality Improvement Projects

In 2015-16, the GRPCC funded quality improvement projects across member services. In 2016-17 the quality improvement projects were finalised by the services and reports were submitted to the GRPCC, resulting in de-identified project plans for other services to access.

Pathways to Palliative Care in Rural Victoria

The Department of Health and Human Services commissioned the five regional palliative care consortia, to work collaboratively to identify and compare pathways to palliative care and consultancy services across the regional areas, to identify immediate and future opportunities for making pathways to palliative care more consistent across the rural regions and inform future policy.

Click here to view the Gippsland report