About soniafullerton

Palliative physician, internet addict, mum of three.

Conversations with patients in palliative care by Dr Matthew Grant

Dr Matthew Grant, a palliative care specialist, has published this article in The Conversation describing normal conversations in the course of his daily work.

I love the way he sensitively maneuvers through difficult conversations, allowing the patient to control the content of prognostic information given.

   “Not everyone will feel comfortable talking about their future treatment plans like Keith. It’s important I allow Sharon to decide whether or not she wants to talk about a future where she dies, just as I shouldn’t necessarily dissuade Christos from smoking if it gives him pleasure.”

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Kimika Lee wins leadership and innovation award

Kimberley Palliative Care Aboriginal Health Worker, Kimika Lee, has been recognised for her tireless work in the community by winning the Leadership and Innovation Award at the Western Australia Regional Achievement and Community Awards this month.

The local Yawuru Broome woman and mother of six said winning the award was a remarkable moment and one she never thought would happen.

See the article in Palliative Matters, thanks Palliative Care Australia

Asia Pacific hospice network presents webinar on dyspnoea 29th October

In conjunction with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2018, the APHN will be holding the second APHN Webinar 2018.  Partners all over the region will be screening this webinar at various venues.

AHPN posts, “We are honoured to have Dr Neo Han Yee speaking on the topic of “Management of Dyspnea”. Dr Neo is currently a Consultant at the Department of Palliative Medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

“Join us! This webinar is FREE for all palliative care colleagues, so SIGN UP NOW at this link. Registration closes when slots have been filled up.

“We would like to thank all participating organisations for hosting this event and supporting this APHN initiative.

“For more information contact Joyce at aphn@aphn.org or call +65 6235 5166. ”

From the website I am not sure whether health professionals who are not in the listed locations are able to participate in the webinar. Palliverse will find out and get back to you.

webinar – palliative care in hospitals 17th October 2PM AEST

Interested in palliative care in hospitals? I certainly am. In my work as a palliative care consultant in the consultation service in an acute hospital, I see a LOT of unmet need, late referrals, and treatment being undertaken without good conversations about the patient’s goals and needs.

We at Palliverse are very keen to promote improvements at a systems level to improve access to palliative care in the acute setting.

On 17th October, Safer Care Victoria is holding a free webinar on palliative care in hospitals. Our host is Claudia Virdun, who has worked in palliative care within a clinical, project management or education position for over 18 years. Claudia has completed an Honours degree (Nursing), Masters degree in Advancing Professional Healthcare Practice and is currently a Phd Candidate with her research focusing on supporting system-level improvements for palliative care within the hospital setting.

Pre-reading for the webinar include Ms. Virdun’s review and meta-synthesis on what is important to patients and families in end of life care in hospitals.

The webinar takes place at 2PM on 17th October AEDT. For those outside of eastern Australia, here’s a time zone converter.

deprescribing at end of life

My pen poised over the drug chart, I hesitate.

Mr Jones* is a 58-year-old patient that my consultation palliative care team is seeing while he’s in hospital with complications of chemotherapy for advanced lung cancer. I am reviewing his discharge medications before he returns home to the care of the community palliative care team.

He is a very optimistic person, not keen to discuss the possibility of his cancer not getting better. An overweight hypertensive smoker, he’s on a full hand of antihypertensives, anti cholesterol medications, vitamin D supplements, a multi-vitamin, and antiplatelet therapy.

His prognosis is likely less than a year in my mind. Does he need all these medications?

A retrospective cohort study by Todd et al examined this question in groups of people with advanced lung cancer in the United States and the UK. The patients had died and been admitted to hospital then discharged at least once in their last 6 months of life.  Continue reading

Palliative Care in the emergency department – PhD scholarship (Melbourne)

https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/news-and-events/phd-scholarship-palliative-care-in-the-emergency-department-research

This looks like an interesting and worthwhile project under the wonderful  Prof Jenny Philip…..

The Project:

Hospital Emergency Departments (ED) face significant pressures and the challenge of providing quality care to high numbers of patients. In particular, patients with advanced cancer are known to frequently present to ED for worsening symptoms, treatment-related complications and need for additional support.

This PhD builds upon previous work to explore novel ways of identifying patients with cancer at increased risk of ED presentation.  This will include, but not be limited to, using established hospital and clinical datasets, to consider the development of a tool of risk stratification.   The candidate will be supported to further this project to develop potential interventional responses for palliative care patients in the emergency department.  The development of epidemiological data analytical skills will be an important outcome for this PhD candidate.

The Scholarship:

This PhD provides an exciting opportunity to work alongside other researchers and clinicians within a clinically embedded palliative research care unit at St Vincent’s Hospital in collaboration with other clinical partners as part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

The successful candidate will be enrolled through the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and be supervised by Professor Jennifer Philip, Associate Professor Brian Le in collaboration with Professor Vijaya Sundararajan (LaTrobe University). The candidate would also be supported by an established project team with interests in developing palliative care in the emergency department.

A competitive three year scholarship is available to the successful applicant to support their candidature.  Interested applicants are encouraged to apply and will be interviewed.

Amount awarded:

The scholarship is $30,000 per year for 3 years.

Eligibility/Selection Criteria:

  • An Honours degree in a health-related field such as Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health
  • Candidate must be competitive for an RTP scholarship or equivalent
  • Experience with quantitative datasets, or population-based research is desirable
  • Ability to work independently
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Good project management skills

Please contact Professor Jennifer Philip or Nora Hanafi if have any questions and/or to express your interest in the PhD project and scholarship.

Nora Hanafi

Research Programs Coordinator

Melbourne Medical School | Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

E: shanafi@unimelb.edu.au

Study of palliative care triage in Australia

Demand for palliative care services in inpatient, community, outpatient and consultation services is increasing. In the context of finite resources, patients referred should undergo ‘triage’ – derived from the French term ‘trier’ meaning ‘to sort’ – the process of deciding which patients should be treated first based on how urgent their needs are.

A new study conducted in Victoria, Australia, explored palliative care providers’ practices and attitudes towards triaging palliative care needs and their views regarding the implementation of a standardised approach.

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Bring dying refugee to Australia for palliative care, urge health professionals

Thousands of doctors have signed a petition calling on the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, to bring a refugee dying of advanced lung cancer to Australia for palliative care.

The 63-year-old is being held on Nauru and is a member of the persecuted Hazara minority in Afghanistan. He has been formally recognised as a refugee. But the Australian Border Force told the man that he could not come to Australia for palliative care, despite claims that the palliative care available on Nauru is inadequate.

The Australian Border Force  (ABF) has told the 63-year-old patient, who is suffering from advanced lung cancer, that he is deemed to have “refused treatment” because he declined to be moved to Taiwan to die. Cynically, the ABF has also offered the patient $25,000 to return home to Afghanistan. Continue reading

APLI forum Sydney 5 September promoting palliative care in Asia-Pacific

Interesting in helping to develop palliative care in the Asia-Pacific region?

APLI is the Australasian Palliative Link International.

It is a small charitable organisation made up of Australian and New Zealand palliative care clinicians. APLI aims :

  • to develop and foster links between palliative care providers and organisations in Australia and New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region
  • to raise awareness of the needs of new palliative care services and the need for further development of the discipline in the region.
  • to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas between providers of palliative care in the region.

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Life in a hospice – reflections on caring for the dying

We have had an email from the Palliverse – Ann Richardson has kindly made her book “Life in a hospice” available as an e book. Life in a Hospice: reflections on caring for the dying is based on very honest interviews with a variety of hospice staff in England, talking anonymously about the joys and challenges of their work and its impact on their lives.

See below for her email. Let us know if you have read it! Thanks Ann for letting us know

Sonia Continue reading