For the first time, University of Newcastle researchers and health care professionals will gather this week to discuss the future of palliative care.
The Sustainable Palliative Care Forum will explore ways to improve the management of palliative care for the benefit of patients, their carers and health professionals.
Forum convenor, Associate Professor Graydon Davison, from the Newcastle Business School, said the forum would investigate the availability and the future of palliative care in Australia.
“Australian palliative care is ranked second internationally, after the United Kingdom, for the quality of care provided*,” Associate Professor Davison,said.
“Palliative care workforces are relatively stable while working in what many would consider a high-stress environment.
“While we provide very good quality palliative care for the patient, there has been little research on the expectations and needs of carers and practitioners, and how the end-of-life experience can be better managed for all involved.”
The Forum will provide context and information for a program of future research to be undertaken by University of Newcastle researchers, other academics and health care professionals.
“We will better understand the structure and operation of the palliative care workforce and take lessons from this management model that can be applied to other teams working in other areas,” Associate Professor Davison, said.
The research findings will have implications for the way palliative care is delivered for a growing and ageing Australian population.
“The research will review palliative care from a range of perspectives, including management strategies, staffing approaches, organisational psychology, change management, and funding and policy to enhance the delivery of palliative care for patients, their families, carers and practitioners.”
Forum attendees include Dr Katy Clark, Director of Palliative Care, Hunter New England Area Health Service, Professor Geoff Mitchell, School of Medicine, University of Queensland and Dr Kate Swetenham, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services.
*The Quality of Death Report is a global league table that compares the experience of palliative care patients. Published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, part of the Lien Foundation, the table highlights the need for improved care for the dying.
The Sustainable Palliative Care Forum will be held at the Central Coast campus, Chittaway Road, Ourimbah, on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 February 2011.
For more information and interviews with Associate Professor Davison contact University of Newcastle Media and Public Relations Officer Leonie Brann, on 02 4921 6856 or 0448 898 813.