Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Palliative Care Volunteers on the agenda: Parliamentary Friends of End of Life

See the original story in The Courier.

Ballarat Hospice Care’s medical director Dr David Brumley has presented at the first Parliamentary Friends of End of Life meeting in Canberra.

Dr Brumley was speaking on behalf of both Ballarat Hospice Care and the Compassionate Communities Network, a collaboration between Palliative Care Australia and The Groundswell Project.

Friends of End of Life aims to distribute accurate information to federal MPs on end of life issues and services, act as a policy discussion forum and provide feedback on community opinions and concerns.

Ballarat Hospice Care offers 24-hour, in-home palliative care across Ballarat, Hepburn and part of Golden Plains and Moorabool shires.

The Compassionate Communities Network aim is to promote and integrate social approaches to dying, death and bereavement into everyday life.

Palliative Care Australia is the national palliative care peak body while The Groundswell Project develops innovative arts and health programs creating cultural change about death and dying.

The Groundswell Project’s Jessie Williams, Libby Maloney from It Takes A Village – Macedon Ranges and Dr Brumley all presented to the Friends of End of Life.

“We were all talking to the idea of ways in which community projects to support end of life in communities could be nurtured,” Dr Brumley said.

Dr Brumley said similar programs to one currently operating in Warrnambool where volunteers are trained to help with end of life care could be rolled out in other regional areas.

“We need to reinvigorate community support for in-home palliative care and reimagine the relationship and support system around each patient.

“We need to take a closer look at the people already in the patient’s life and who can do what to support them. People do want to help, they do want to bring the casserole around – they just don’t know how to do it.”

Ballarat Hospice Care has been offering in-home palliative care, which fits within the state government’s End of Life framework, since 1987, but demand has doubled in the past five years.

In June 2016 Dr Brumley received an Order of Australia Medal for his service to medicine as a general practitioner and to palliative care.

Pic: Dr David Brumley OAM (Pic credit to Geelong Advertiser).

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