National Palliative Care Standards

National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professionals and Aged Care Services

The National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professional and Aged Care Services has been developed to complement the National Palliative Care Standards (NCPS) 5th edition 2018, with the aim of supporting better experiences and outcomes for people receiving generalist palliative care.

These Standards are intended to guide health providers to deliver high-quality palliative care in a wide range of settings (in services outside of specialist palliative care services).


National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professionals and Aged Care Services: for professionals not working in Specialist Palliative Care


National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professionals and Aged Care Services Factsheet

 

National Palliative Care Standards for Specialist Palliative Care Providers 5.1 Edition (2024)

In 2024, the National Palliative Care Standards 5th ed. (2018) has been updated to ensure it is consistent with contemporary practice, language and digital innovation to carry the sector through to 2030. Its self-assessment process, PaCSA, has also been modified to help teams identify and meet their quality improvement priorities.

The National Palliative Care Standards for Specialist Palliative Care Providers (the Standards 5.1 ed.) continues to clearly articulate and promote a vision for compassionate and appropriate specialist palliative care. The Standards 5.1 ed. recognise the importance of care that is person-centred (and family*-centred) and age-appropriate.

The Standards 5.1 ed. continue to point to the requirement for specific consideration of the individual needs of people who may be especially vulnerable as members of diverse populations and or due their experiences. Diverse populations often experience ongoing stress that comes from being marginalised. Individuals may also be members of more than one minority group and as a result may face compounding barriers to accessing appropriate palliative care. This may include, but is not limited to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people who have experienced torture and trauma; people who are experiencing homelessness; people seeking asylum; people living with mental illness; people living with dementia; paediatric populations; people with disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse people (LGBTIQ+); people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, or those experiencing other forms of social or economic disadvantage.

The Standards 5.1 ed. is mapped to the National Safety and Quality in Healthcare Standards and Consensus Statements. Additional mapping to relevant sector Standards and frameworks will be updated as they become available.


National Palliative Care Standards for Specialist Palliative Care Providers 5.1 Edition (2024)


National Palliative Care Standards Factsheet for specialists


National Palliative Care Standards poster

 

Palliative Care Self-Assessment (PaCSA)

The Palliative Care Self-Assessment (PaCSA) provides services with a set of nine individual checklists to self-assess against the nine National Palliative Care Standards (5th ed.), mapped against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2nd ed.), which enables services to create an action plan for quality improvement.

Services are supported in this process through access to quality improvement tools for patient and family/carer surveys, documentation audit tools, evidence gathering information, and links to evidence-based resources in palliative care, quality improvement, and service development.

These Standards set out to articulate and promote a vision for compassionate and appropriate palliative care.  Health service organisations that are working towards meeting the actions in these Standards may also be contributing to related actions in the NSQHS Standards.

The NSQHS Standards aim to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision. The NSQHS Standards (2nd edn) Actions 5.15 to 5.20a overtly focus on ‘end-of-life’ care. There are also a range of other actions that are relevant to the delivery of holistic and person-centred comprehensive care that includes palliative care. While not always equivalent, mapping has been undertaken and links between the two sets of Standards are outlined below each Element of the PaCSA checklists.

The nine PaCSA checklists can be downloaded via this webpage for self-paced self-assessment using the resources, videos and tools provided. Start by downloading the ‘how to guide’ to navigate and complete your self-assessments.

Download PaCSA checklists

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Additional resources

Services can download the following Audit Tools and Service Stories that will further support you in completing your self-assessments.


PaCSA Audit Tools


Service Stories/Testimonials