What is Palliative Care?

    Palliative care is a person-centered approach that places those affected by life-limiting illness at the heart of their care surrounded by their community and support services1.  

    The World Health Organisation2 describes palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and their families who are facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.

    provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms

    affirms life and regards dying as a normal process

    intends neither to hasten or postpone death

    integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care

    offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death

    offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement

    uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated

    will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.3

    Whilst often described as distinct or separate periods, end of life care, terminal care and grief and bereavement care are all terms used to describe the palliative care journey which may occur over a period of days, months, or years. For the purposes of this framework and to reinforce the continuum of care, these terms will be included under the umbrella term ‘palliative care’ throughout this project.

    What is a Services Plan?

    Services plans are developed to provide a clear direction for the provision of health services to meet the future health needs of a specific population for a stated planning period. A services plan may focus on a particular population group, health issue or service type and provides a key link between the strategic and the operational approach to service development. 1 2

    What is a Model of Care?

    A “Model of Care” framework broadly defines the way health services are delivered. It outlines best practice care and services for a person, population group or patient cohort as they progress through the stages of a condition, injury or event. It aims to ensure people get the right care, at the right time, by the right team and in the right place.1

    Who is conducting the project?

    The Planning & Commissioning Branch in the Department for Health and Wellbeing is managing the project, in partnership with the Statewide Palliative Care Clinical Network.

    What will the engagement and feedback be used for?

    Your feedback will help us to ensure that the things that matter to you are considered in the development of the Palliative Care Services Plan and Model of Care Framework. 

    Who can provide feedback during the consultation?

    We are seeking comment from the South Australian community, service providers, people working in palliative care services, and any and all other interested parties.