The Statewide Palliative Care Clinical Network includes all the health professionals, health service organisations, Palliative Care SA, consumers and carers who work collaboratively with the goal of achieving safe, dignified, comfortable and high quality palliative and end of life care for all South Australians.
The network operates across the continuum of care, in private and public sectors and across all Local Health Networks — both country and metropolitan. It is supported by a clinical lead, steering committee and other subcommittees or work groups that are identified as being required to undertake network priority projects.
The Clinical Network uses the following definitions when referring to palliative care or end of life care and Terminal Phase:
- Palliative care: an approach to treatment that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing life-limiting illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering. It involves early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems (physical, psychosocial and spiritual).
- End-of-life care: includes physical, spiritual and psychosocial assessment, care and treatment delivered by health professionals and ancillary staff. It also includes the support of families and carers, and care of the patient’s body after their death. People are ‘approaching the end of life’ when they are likely to die within the next 12 months.
- Terminal Phase: Death is likely within days.