Highlights from day 1 #ANZSPM16

We had a terrific day one at the #ANZSPM16 conference in Perth. The conference, mainly catering to palliative doctors in Australia and New Zealand, takes place in the luxurious Duxton hotel close to the Swan River in Perth.

Welcome to Country by Auntie Janet from the Noongar nation was made the more poignant when Auntie Janet revealed that  her sister had died only yesterday.

The incomparable Dr Rosalie Shaw OAM inspired the first hashtag spinoff of the conference, #inaweofShaw, presenting the first Rosalie Shaw oration named in her honour. Prof Shaw gave an insightful description of the development of palliative services in the Australasian region, letting the younger members of the audience hear about the days when we had immediate release morphine, NSAIDs, and …. that was about it!

Dr Pippa Hawley is having a great conference, giving talks on a wide variety of subjects. Today she reflected on the way that palliative care is perceived by patients and families as meaning  “I’ll be dead in a week”, and how we may contribute to that with our referral guidelines, often at odds with the evidence about the benefits of early palliative care.

I’m sure that Dr Lisa Miller taught us more about frontal lobe syndromes than we ever learned at medical school, while Prof Kissane reminded us of the high prevalence of demoralisation in palliative care patients, and management of demoralisation.

Team Palliverse held two well received workshops on the use of social media in palliative care. Several new tweeters have emerged and we were delighted to have a visit from the Lego Palliateurs – check them out on twitter!

To finish off the day, Dr Michael Chapman and Dr Felicity Hawkins chaired the first meeting of the special interest group in palliative care for the older person. Watch this space for future exciting developments in palliative care for the older person.

Looking forward to day two…..ms-empathy

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