Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Online learning enhances community knowledge

Lachlan Puzey, Policy Officer, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) writes about ‘Using an online learning environment to enhance community palliative care knowledge’ on the CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives.

The concept of ‘death’ or ‘dying’ is rarely discussed in Australian society. However, this failure to talk about or plan for death has been identified as one of the greatest barriers to improving end-of-life care in Australia.

Due to our ageing population, the number of people dying with multiple chronic medical conditions is expected to increase dramatically over the next 25 years. Despite this, access to high-quality palliative care services in Australia remains inconsistent and many who would benefit from it are unable to access appropriate care. To this end, research has demonstrated that raising community awareness about the importance of palliative care is needed to empower individuals to develop and discuss their end-of-life plans and to improve access to palliative care services when they are required.

The National Palliative Care Strategy (2018) is a commitment by all Australian governments to ensure that Australians affected by life-limiting illnesses get the care they need to live well. Under the National Palliative Care Strategy (2018), the Commonwealth Government has provided funding through The Public Health and Chronic Disease Program to support activities that improve access to high quality palliative care, end of life care and advance care planning.

Originally developed by our organisation in 2013, the Palliative Care Online Training Portal (the Portal) offers free, non-clinical, interactive palliative care training for carers, community and aged care workers, students, volunteers, family members and clinicians who want to build their skills in caring for someone with a life-limiting illness. Through the delivery of this training, we aim to improve the quality of and access to palliative care skill development for service providers.

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