Palliative Care Program
Silver Chain provides WA's largest community palliative care service, also the largest palliative care service in Australia.
We also provide palliative care services across the Adelaide metropolitan area, Brisbane North and in eight local health districts in NSW.
Community-based palliative care is integral to providing a solution to the substantial strain on the modern health system in Australia and allowing the majority of Australians preferring to be cared for and die within their homes and local communities to do so.
Substantial and enduring benefits have arisen through the adoption of comprehensive community-based palliative care in WA, including a nation-leading death at home rate, avoided hospitalisations and significant economic benefits.
Silver Chain's community palliative care service is delivered in the home by a palliative care multidisciplinary team, comprising palliative care nurses, RMOs, GP Hospice doctors, palliative care registrars, palliative care consultants, social worker, counsellor and chaplain.
An RMO in their Silver Chain palliative care placement is well supported. In the first two weeks, there is a structured orientation that includes joint home visits with the GP Supervisor, other GPs, consultants and/or registrars and nurses. Thereafter, the RMOs have a greater autonomy and responsibility attending patients in their home independently. If they have clinical concerns about patients, they can discuss these with their supervisor or the palliative care consultant or registrar in person or by phone. Each week there is a two hour multidisciplinary team meeting to discuss patients.
This placement provides a unique opportunity to experience community care working with patients in their home.
RMOs have the opportunity to further their knowledge and skills in;
- communicating with patient and families,
- breaking bad news,
- managing cancer and non-cancer palliative care,
- pain management (especially opioids and other analgesics),
- managing symptoms in palliative care including the terminal phase, and
- use of subcutaneous pumps.