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13 May 2014

GPs have been asked to participate in the first-ever attempt to identify and map the availability of palliative and advance care planning services nationwide.

A survey being conducted by a consortium of leading national health, academic and aged care organisations aims to tap into the local knowledge of GPs to provide an accurate picture of the palliative and advance care planning services available in each area.

The information collected will be used to help fill service gaps around the country, and to develop a dedicated 24 hour hotline to provide specialist palliative care and advance care planning advice.

GPs who decide to take part are asked to complete online survey of existing palliative care and advance care planning arrangements in their practice. Completing the survey is expected to take around 15 minutes.

Project leader, Associate Professor Bill Silvester, said the survey seeks to capture the knowledge of GPs, so that an accurate picture of services can be obtained.

“GPs and managers of aged care services have a good understanding of the palliative care and advance care planning services currently available in their local area, so it is really important that as many as possible participate in the survey, because the results will determine how program resources can be targeted to those in most need,” Associate Professor Silvester said.

Findings from the survey will be incorporated into the first-ever national scan of the sector, with the information used to develop a suite of programs under the Specialist Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Advisory Services Project.

These will include the 24 hour hotline, as well as education, training and web-based resources for health and aged care professionals to enhance their skills in palliative care and advance care planning.

To participate in the survey, go to

The survey closes on Friday, 23 May.

For more information about the survey or the Advisory Services Project, contact Palliative Care Australia on 02 6232 4433.


Published: 13 May 2014