Palliative Care Tasmania (PCT) worked with the Tasmanian Department of Health (DoH), along with other stakeholders, to develop the Government’s Strengthening Communities of Care: A Strategy to Build the Capacity and Capability of all Tasmanians in Palliative Care (the SCCS).

The SCCS at a high level identifies the key priorities and actions that are required to ensure that Tasmania has a ‘skilled, responsive, confident, competent and sustainable palliative care workforce into the future’.

PCT has been funded by the Department of Health to facilitate and implement a Workforce Development Project to support the implementation of the SCCS, identifying 11 key sub-projects that will be undertaken to ensure that the workforce, through a whole of community approach, has the capacity to meet the current and future demand for palliative care.

Strengthening Communities of Care  adopts a ‘communities of care’ approach which moves beyond traditional workforce development approaches that focus on the paid workforce. Through a whole of community approach, this strategy is aiming to build and maintain skilled, capable and confident communities of care and to build capacity in individuals and the community to respond to the experience of death, dying and bereavement.

The concept of ‘communities of care’ acknowledges the role and value of both the informal and formal networks of care and the natural supports that exist in our communities.

Communities of care include not just those who make up the paid palliative care workforce such as primary, specialist or community care providers, but also families, volunteers, carers and community support networks. Together, these people make up our ‘community of care’. Through this strategy, we will encourage communities of care to work in partnership, build leadership capabilities and encourage research, innovation and continuous improvement.

The SCCS recognises that everyone has a role to play in palliative care, dying, death and bereavement. We are all part of the ‘palliative care workforce’.

Whilst clinical expertise may be a necessary part of palliative care, clinicians and health services alone are insufficient to address the needs of people with life limiting conditions and their families.

Quality of life at the end of life is reliant not only on high quality clinical care, but also on the strength of our communities, our personal networks, family members, volunteers, and neighbours. Informal supports and community networks play key roles in meeting the physical, social, emotional, and cultural needs of people at the end of life.

Communities of care are needed to support people at the end of life and their families.

 

Figure 1: Tasmanian Palliative Care Circle of Support

 

Key Projects include:

There is 1 key strategic project and 10 supporting projects that make up Phase One of the SCC Workforce Development Initiative.

  1. Tasmanian Palliative Care online information and and learning hub, bringing all sector opportunities to one place.
  2. Community connection project, providing a place for practitioners to connect with each other.
  3.  A Tasmanian based palliative care research project.
  4. Diversity scholarships to encourage nurses into palliative care practice.
  5. Carer Traineeship Subsidies to support carers into paid employment.
  6. State of Palliative Care Report.
  7. An Annual Forum to bring the sector together around key workforce development issues.
  8. Development of a Core Capability Framework to support palliative care recruitment.
  9. Champions Program to promote key successes and stories of the sector.
  10. Parliamentary Round Table(s) to engage with key decision makers and government.
  11. Palliative Care Education and Training Liaison to bring together educators across Tasmania

 

The Strengthening Communities of Care Sub-Committee participants include representatives from:

  • ACSA
  • ANMF
  • Carers Tasmania
  • Department of Health
  • District Nurses
  • Li-Ve
  • THS

We look forward to sharing the progress of the initiatives with the sector over the coming months.

 

For more information please contact

Veney Hiller, Manager Communications, Policy and Development
veney.hiller@pct.org.au

Sarah Martin, Strategic Project Lead, Workforce Development
sarah.martin@pct.org.au