Palliative care in WA

Half-way through National Palliative Care Week 2020, we are today taking a look at palliative care in Western Australia (WA). Did you know that WA’s End-of-Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018-2028 places people and their family/carer at the centre of care and ensures people are treated within a culture of compassion and quality?

This Strategy is a testament to how important it is for the WA health system to have clear and defined priorities for end-of-life and palliative care. Approximately 70 per cent of all deaths are expected and most of us will die with a chronic condition. More people are living longer with chronic life-limiting conditions, and an estimated 30 per cent of Australians aged 65 years and over live with three or more chronic conditions.

The aim of the Strategy is to provide strategic statewide policy direction and outline the vision, values and priorities for end-of-life and palliative care in Western Australia to 2028. It provides a 10-year vision for improving the lives of all Western Australians through quality end-of-life and palliative care.

Priority areas aim to guide and inspire public, private, community and non-government health sectors to partner for the provision of best-practice end-of-life and palliative care for the next ten years. This includes the delivery of specialist and non-specialist teams providing end-of-life and palliative care. The identified priority areas from 2018-2028 are:

  1. Care is accessible to everyone, everywhere;
  2. Care is person-centred;
  3. Care is coordinated;
  4. Families and carers are supported;
  5. All staff are prepared to care; and
  6. The community is aware and able to care.

The Strategy recognises that end-of-life and palliative care is focused on improving a person’s quality of life and that palliative care is more than terminal care. This includes raising public awareness and normalising death as part of life. The strategy can be viewed at https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/Files/Corporate/general%20documents/Health%20Networks/Palliative%20care/WA%20End-of-life%20and%20Palliative%20Care%20Strategy%202018-2028.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0QsgZlbo2UTIwbTqHLfh7SiAbRbUs_OywKh5bBllJVhece-1F8gCWmib8

This document was one of the strategies and care recommendations discussed at last year’s Palliative Care Summit. The summit aimed to shape how WA puts into practice the strategies and recommendations from the My Life My Choice report, WA End of Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018-2028 and the Sustainable Health Review. Representatives from Ambulance Wish Western Australia’s volunteer Management Committee participated in the summit, and since, have attended further WA palliative care events, as part of its mission to provide the highest quality care for its wish recipients and the charity’s integration into the palliative care sector.

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