A new palliative care pilot will be launched in South Australia to make care more accessible. Palliative care navigators will be employed to connect terminally ill patients with local palliative care services in a 3-year pilot program for South Australia.
The $7.5 million Palliative Care Navigation Pilot will include both Adelaide and South Australian regional centres. Funded by the Australian Government, the pilot will be implemented in partnership with the South Australian Government.
As well as palliative care navigators helping individual patients and their families, the pilot will invest in a user-friendly phone line, a dedicated website offering information around the clock, improve volunteer coordination and access to bereavement supports.
It aims to increase access to palliative care services in the community, by giving patients and their families better information about available services, smoother transition between types of care, and better support into end-of-life care pathways.
The program will also create better links between primary health networks, specialist palliative care services, and relevant community-based services. By providing better coordinated care it will directly contribute to the goals of both the National Palliative Care Strategy and the National Health Reform Agreement.
“Living with a life limiting illness is an emotionally challenging time and makes it even harder for many patients and their families to navigate our complex health system.
“As a result, many people who could benefit from palliative care either miss out or receive it too late because they don’t realise what’s available,” Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said.
“I want to acknowledge former Senator Stirling Griff for initiating this pilot after experiencing the system himself, losing his wife to cancer.”