COVID-19 Updates

Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group 

Palliative Care Australia has formed the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG) in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM), Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA), Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine (AChPM) of the Royal College of Physicians (RACP), End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC), Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand (PAPCANZ), CareSearch, caring@home and the Australian Department of Health.

The impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of palliative care during 2020

This invite-only live-streamed event was hosted by ABC broadcaster, Dr Norman Swan and our Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care Co-Convenors, Senator Catryna Bilyk and The Hon Nola Marino MP on 4 December 2020. This event was an opportunity to reflect on the issues that have emerged for palliative care during the pandemic and also the activities and issues addressed by the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group. The video of this event is available below.

Dr Will Cairns OAM and Rachel Coghlan provided an understanding of the scope of challenges that a pandemic or disaster poses for the delivery of health services, in particular for palliative care.

Dr Norman Swan conducted interviews and Q & A with:

  • Professor Meera Agar, Chair, PCA
  • Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and Principal Medical Advisor, Australian Government Department of Health
  • Associate Professor Mark Boughey, Director of Palliative Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Safer Care Victoria Clinical Lead, Palliative Care Clinical Network
  • Professor Liz Lobb, Professor of Palliative Care, Deputy Chair, Calvary Palliative and End of Life Care Research Institute
  • Janeane Harlum, President Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA)

Professor Agar launched PCA’s outcomes paper Palliative Care and COVID-19: Grief, Bereavement and Mental Health. This paper provides recommendations for policy makers, health and aged care leaders and professionals, and consumers and carers to meet the mental health, grief and bereavement needs of Australians during the current pandemic and any future pandemics or disasters.

Reflecting on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and investing in strategic solutions will ensure that Australia is well equipped to manage the grief, bereavement and mental health challenges ahead.

ACPCWG-related updates and resources

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

July 2020

December 2020

October 2021

February 2022

ACPCWG newsletters

The working group will be issuing regular e-newsletters as an additional communications vehicle to share updates and information.

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

March 2021

PCA Submissions and Reports

General Updates

Commonwealth Department of Health

World Health Organisation (WHO)

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

Health professionals and aged care workers

Clinical resources

Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) and CareSearch have collated a series of resources specifically for health care professionals working in palliative care.

Online Training

Grief and Bereavement:

Spiritual Care

Key Articles and Research