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Palliative Care Resources

Clinical Practice Group (CPG) Guidelines

The following documents have been developed by the Gippsland Region Clinical Practice Group to assist health professionals and palliative care service providers develop their own policies and procedures around palliative care.

Please find below a list of our current available documents.

Advance Care Planning Guidelines

The purpose of advance care planning guidelines is to support clinical staff to “have the conversation” with clients and caregivers about end of life decision making, engage clients and their families in decisions about their care and help them to undertake advance care planning.

Click here to view the Advance Care Planning Guideline

Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines

The purpose of the Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guideline, is to provide practical guidelines to clinicians for assessing and documenting bereavement; and provide timely and appropriate support in a sensitive manner

It must be noted that this guideline is for use by health professionals working with adults.

This document includes two recommended tools;

  1. Complicated Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (CBRAT); and
  2. Genogram

Click here to view the Bereavement Risk Screening and Management Guidelines

Breathlessness Guidelines and Flowchart

Breathlessness Guidelines and Flowchart is used to assist in assessment and management of difficult or uncomfortable breathing

Click here to view the Breathlessness Guidelines and Flowchart

Carer's Symptom Management Guides

The suite of carer’s symptom management guides inform clients / carer’s about what to do when existing symptoms worsen or as initial steps for a new symptom. These can be utilized by palliative care services to support carers to manage distressing symptoms.

Clinical Care Guidelines

The Clinical Care Guidelines were developed by Banksia Palliative Care and modified for use in Gippsland

Click here to view the Clinical Care Guidelines

Clinical Supervision and Support Guidelines

The purpose of this policy is to describe the  clinical supervision options and provide a guide for organisations to support staff and volunteers appropriate to the individual and their scope of practise to access supervision, should they choose to do so,

The three broad components of clinical supervision are:

  • Education
  • Support
  • Accountability

Click here to view the Clinical Supervision and Support Guidelines

Drug Compatibility in Subcutaneous Infusions Chart

Drug Compatibility in Subcutaneous Infusions Chart is a printable colour pictorial chart with indicators of drug compatibility.

Click here to view the Drug Compatibility in Subcutaneous Infusions Chart

Management of clients with automatic defibrillators and pacemakers at end of life

The Management of clients with automatic defibrillators and pacemakers at end of life  guideline provides best practice guideline for the deactivation of ICDs in hospital and community settings

Click here to view the Management of clients with automatic defibrillators and pacemakers at end of life guideline. 

Opioid Conversion Guidelines

The Opioid Conversion Guidelines outline Equianalgesic dose conversions, which are necessary when changing opioid drug therapy in the clinical setting.

Click here to view the Opioid Conversion Guidelines

Oxygen Use in Palliative Care Guideline and Flowchart

In patients with oxygen saturation at rest of ≤ 90%, a therapeutic trial of oxygen therapy
may be reasonable but continued use can only be justified if there is therapeutic benefit.

Click here to view the Oxygen Use in Palliative Care Guideline and Flowchart

Palliative Care Anticipatory Prescribing Guidelines

Anticipatory prescribing is designed to enable prompt symptom relief at whatever time the client develops distressing symptoms.

Click here to view the Palliative Care Anticipatory Prescribing Guidelines

Palliative Care Emergencies

A palliative care emergency is a sudden and life-threatening clinical change in a patient with a life limiting illness. It requires timely identification, rapid assessment and prompt management to ensure, where possible, rapid reversal of symptoms to promote preservation of quality of life.

Click here to view the Palliative Care Emergencies Guideline.

Palliative Care Referral Triage and Transfer Form

The Palliative Care Triage and Transfer form is an electronic referral form template.

Click here to view the Palliative Care Referral Triage and Transfer form

Palliative Care Service Assess & Management Flow Chart for GP’s

Palliative Care Service Assess & Management Flow Chart for GP’s is used to inform clinical practice, policies and procedures in health services.

Click here to view the Palliative Care Service Assess & Management Flow Chart for GP’s

Palliative Sedation Guideline

The intent of the Palliative Sedation guideline is to guide the use of continuous palliative sedation therapy in clients undergoing end of life care.

Click here to view the Palliative Sedation Guideline

Rapid discharge guidance for patients who wish to die at home

When an imminently dying patient (or family, in their substitute role) expresses a wish to die at home, their request should not be simply viewed as impractical or impossible. Rather, a realistic evaluation of the feasibility of different options should be undertaken.

Click here to view the Rapid discharge guidance for patients who wish to die at home guideline.

Rapid admission for imminently dying patients from the community palliative care to inpatient setting

This flowchart guides the process for an imminently dying registered community palliative care patient in need of direct admission to hospital.

Click here to view the The direct planned/unplanned admission process for imminently dying patients from the community palliative care to inpatient setting (rapid admission) flowchart.

Self care and wellbeing in the palliative care and end of life setting

The purpose of this guideline is to provide information on self-care options as a part of clinician wellbeing, when working in a palliative care environment.

Click here to view the Self care and wellbeing in the palliative care and end of life setting guideline.

Symptom Control Algorithm

The Symptom Control Algorithm is a companion document to the Care Plan for the Dying Person. It is based on the PICD algorithm and updated with the most recent evidence from the therapeutic guidelines and palliative care formulary.

Click here to view the Symptom Control Algorithm.

Symptom management for adult patients with COVID-19

The symptom management for adult patients with COVID-19  receiving end-of-life supportive care outside ICU was adapted from BC Centre for Palliative Care Guidelines, edited with permission by the Gippsland Regional Palliative Care Consultancy Service GRPCCS team for use in Gippsland

Click here to view the Symptom management guideline

Tools to Assist After-Hours Telephone Triage

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.

Verification and Certification of Death

The Verification and Certification of Death outlines the requirement that all patients within Gippsland will have a death certificate signed by a qualified Medical Practitioner within 48 hours of the death, unless they are required to report the death to the Coroner.

Click here  to view Verification and Certification of Death guideline

GRPCC CPG Guideline Disclaimer: The intent of clinical guidelines endorsed and made available by the Clinical Practice Group of the GRPCC is to assist health services and clinical staff across the Gippsland region to facilitate evidence based practice in palliative care.

Clinical guidelines are intended to provide general advice to the medical, nursing, and allied health staff working with clients who have life limiting illness. They should never be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the particular circumstances of each case and the needs of each patient or organisation.

Whilst the GRPCC endeavours to ensure these clinical guidelines are accurate at the time of their preparation, it takes no responsibility for matters arising from changed circumstances or information or material that may have become available after the issued or reviewed date.

Organisations and health care professionals should ensure that in using the GRPCC guidelines that they are complementary to their current organisational governance structures, and individual clinicians scope of practice.

Tools and Guidelines

Abbey Pain Scale

The Abbey Pain Scale was developed to measure pain in patients who cannot verbalise.

Click here to view the Abbey Pain Scale.

Evidence based clinical guidelines for adults in the terminal phase

The WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network has developed this “Evidence based clinical guidelines for adults in the terminal phase” flipbook which provides five evidence based protocols for palliative care:

  • Dyspnoea (Community and Inpatient)
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Respiratory Tract Secretions
  • Terminal Restlessness/Agitation.

The five protocols each have a user friendly flowchart, evidenced based summary and the full version of the evidence based clinical guidelines.

Click here to view Evidence based clinical guidelines for adults in the terminal phase.

The GSF Prognostic Indicator Guidance

This updated fourth edition of the GSF Prognostic Indicator Guidance, aims to help GPs, clinicians and other professionals in earlier identification of those adult patients nearing the end of their life who may need additional support.

Click here to view the GSF Prognostic Indicator Guidance.

Ready for community palliative care

Ready for community palliative care is a suite of resources designed by the Department of Health and Human Service, to support acute hospital staff in their discharge planning for patients who are in the last twelve months of life. Patients may be stable, deteriorating, unstable or actively dying.

The aim of the resource is to make discharge safe and secure for patients, families and carers, whether it is to the person’s home, residential aged care or a disability service.

Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT)

A validated UK tool developed with carers and available under license.  It directly assesses the support needs of carers by asking questions in relation to 14 areas identified by carers as areas where support is required for health and wellbeing and to support their caregiving role.

Click here to be directed to the CSNAT website.

Consider the Carer

Consider the Carer is a resource developed by the Southern Metro Region Palliative Care Consortium, for health professionals working in palliative care to understand the full impact of the caring role and develop prevention strategies.

Click here to view the Consider the Carer booklet. 

Guidelines for the handling of palliative care medicines in community services

These guidelines have been developed as a part of the caring@home project and are endorsed by Palliative Care Australia. They represent a consensus based approach to the handling of palliative care medicines by community services, and consider jurisdictional legislative requirements, policies and
guidelines across all Australian states and territories.

Click here to view Guidelines for the handling of palliative care medicines in community services.

Useful Website

Websites are an excellent resource for information for health professionals on policies and procedures, best practice, skills and training, research and publications. Below are valuable websites to assist health professionals with the management of patients requiring palliative care.

Better Health Channel

The Victorian State Governments Better Health Channel provides health and medical information to improve the health and wellbeing of people and the communities they live in.

Click here to be directed to the Better Health Channel.

CareSearch

CareSearch provides trustworthy information about palliative care for patients, carers and families, and health professionals. It also includes an extensive range of education opportunities for health professionals.

Click here to be directed to the Caresearch website.

PalliAGED

Nurses and GP’s caring for older people near the end of life are now able to access the PalliAGED smartphone app, which contains current clinical advice at the point of care.

Click here to be directed to the PalliAGED website.

Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC)

The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is a national program that utilises standardised clinical assessment tools to measure and benchmark patient outcomes in palliative care.

Click here to be directed to the PCOC website.

Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) forms part of the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative.

As a national palliative care project, this Collaborative takes a strategic approach to education and training of the health workforce, and delivers programs for health care provider groups across primary, secondary and tertiary settings.

Click here to be directed to the PEPA website.

Disclaimer: GRPCC provides these links for information purpose only and is not responsible for the content of these websites. If you notice any of the links are broken, or would like to suggest additional information resources to be added, please contact us.